Former inmate files lawsuit alleging abuse against York County prison guards and county

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A former York County prison inmate has filed a federal lawsuit against four guards he says coerced him, along with other inmates, to participate in humiliating activities in what the guards allegedly called the "Retard Olympics."

James Williams Hicks Jr., of Dover, named Daniel H. Graff, David Michael Whitcomb, Mark Andrew Haynes and Adam S. Marcini as the officers involved in his alleged mistreatment as well as York County, according to the lawsuit filed Sept. 29 in U.S. Middle District Court in Harrisburg.

The lawsuit claims that the officers arranged different events for the inmates from 2008 to 2013. 

Hicks claims that he was choked and punched as part of the events, as well as paired to wrestle inmate David M. Wright. 

Other events outlined in the lawsuit include:

  • Drinking 1 gallon of milk in one hour;
  • Eating an entire spoonful of cinnamon;
  • Snorting spicy Ramen noodle flavoring powder;
  • Snorting crushed hard candy;
  • Drinking a bottle of water containing pepper spray foam;
  • Drinking a concoction known as "Mystery Soup," which consisted of olives that had been left unrefrigerated for several weeks and mixed with cleaning supplies.

Hicks went along with the events to avoid becoming the target of other "violent forms of ‘amusement’" at the hands of the guards, according to the lawsuit.

In return for participating in the events, the guards gave Hicks "trivial favors," including extra coffee and food…

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