Orange County sheriff's deputies used an electronic stun weapon to subdue the son of a former assistant sheriff inside Orange County Jail, where he is awaiting a retrial in a 2002 rape case involving a 16-year-old girl, the suspect's attorney said Wednesday.
The incident began Saturday afternoon when deputies scolded Gregory Haidl for sharing a chocolate bar with another inmate and then refused to let him take prescription medicine or visit the jail doctor, said Haidl's attorney, Pete Scalisi.
Later, trying to get the deputies' attention, Haidl draped a bedsheet around his neck while inside his cell, Scalisi said. A deputy opened the cell door and shot electric current into him with a stun gun, Scalisi said.
Jon Fleischman, a Sheriff's Department spokesman, declined to respond to Scalisi's allegations or say if deputies interpreted the bedsheet incident as a suicide attempt.
Scalisi said he considered the use of the stun weapon excessive. He said jail officials also had violated the suspect's rights by locking him in his cell 23 hours a day,
Haidl's father served nearly six years as an assistant to Sheriff Michael S. Carona.
Scalisi disputed a report by KCBS-TV Channel 2 that the inmate whom Haidl shared the chocolate bar with was Alejandro Avila, who is awaiting trial in the abduction and killing of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion.
Haidl is awaiting a second trial on charges that he and two friends raped a girl at his father's Corona del Mar home in 2002. His first trial ended in a mistrial after jurors deadlocked.