Alameda County Sheriff's deputy facing assault charges in connection with jail brawl

An Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy has been arrested and charged for allowing six inmates to assault another prisoner at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin last fall, authorities said. 

Prosecutors filed charges Wednesday against deputy Joseph Bailey, 28, of Tracy. He’s been assigned to the jail since he began working with the agency three years ago, said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly.

Kelly said in the alleged incident, Bailey is accused of willingly placing the inmate in a dormitory area where he was beat up by five to six other inmates.

“It appears the deputy knew, possibly knew, that when he put this inmate in this location the likelihood that they would assault him was high,” Kelly said.

Bailey and the inmate got into an argument hours before the beating, Kelly said. “Maybe as retaliation for retribution, he sanctioned this assault to occur,” Kelly said.

He's charged with two counts of felony assault.

Bailey self-surrendered to authorities at the Hayward Police Department on Wednesday and bailed out shortly after he was booked.

His attorney, David Mastagni, said prosecutors nationwide have been hastily charging law enforcement officers with crimes, but the cases are later dismissed. He said he's confident Bailey's case will also be dismissed. 

Sheriff’s detectives have been investigating the accusation since it was brought to their attention by jail staff in late October. Bailey was immediately placed on administrative leave when the probe began, Kelly said.

The investigation into the Oct. 27 incident included interviews with two dozen people, including jailers, inmates and former inmates, Kelly said.

“This sends a message to other people that mistreatment of inmates who are put in your care and custody will not be tolerated,’’ Kelly said.

In a statement, Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern said he was saddened and disturbed by the allegations.

“The moment I heard of these allegations, I directed my staff to do a complete and thorough investigation. I am confident this single incident is isolated to this individual,” Ahern said.  

Kelly said those involved in the jail brawl were not seriously injured, but some went to a hospital with cuts and bruises and the inmate who was attacked had a fractured nose and other non-life threatening injuries. The names and details about the inmates involved in the fight were not released.