York County corrections officers accused of real life “fight club”

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It’s a situation straight out of a movie.

A sort of “fight club” allegedly run in the York County prison.

Inmates fought each other for special privileges.

And an investigation shows that corrections officers were the ones who ran the show.

Two prison inmates say they were forced to fight and participate in bizarre challenges which included snorting the spices from a Ramon Noodle packet all for food and extra coffee.

But the officers held accountable say this isn’t true.

“Believe it or not, it’s not true, we have never conducted ourselves in an unprofessional or unethical manner,” says York Prison Corrections Officer, Daniel Graff.

That was Daniel Graff’s response after we read him the report that fully detailed what inmates said he and two corrections officers did.

Pennsylvania State Police say Graff as well as David Whitcomb and Mark Haynes made inmates fight each other.

The only rule according to inmates is that they couldn’t punch in the face.

Police also say the inmates were challenged to eat a spoonful of cinnamon, snort crushed candy bottle caps, and eat fruit with the peels still on them, among other things.

“I have never done that and I have never witnessed my co-workers do that,” says Graff.

State Trooper Rob Hicks says these allegations are disappointing.

“Being an officer and stuff you’re held to a higher standard so when stuff like this occurs it makes us all look bad, so we certainly don’t like to see it,” says Trooper Hicks.

This investigation first started when prison officials were looking through video for vandalism incidents.

That’s when officials saw a clip of an officer grabbing an inmate by the neck.

According to Graff, prison officials took it out of context.

“You could tell in the video by his body language he was despondent and he had a bad day. The officer put his arm around him basically saying hey it’s going to be ok we’ll talk about it later, go back into your housing unit,” says Graff.

Graff was first made aware of these allegations last week.

He didn’t find out he was being charged with official oppression and harassment until he saw it online this morning.

“We were taken aback, we couldn’t believe this because the allegations are completely false. We just couldn’t believe these inmates that we have a professional rappor with would actually conjure this stories up,” says Graff.

Daniel Graff also tells FOX43 he believes the inmates reported this to police simply for monetary purposes.

Graff has been told by other officers at the prison that those two inmates have been heard saying quote, “we’re going to own this place.”

For now, Graff, Haynes, and Whitcomb remain on unpaid administrative leave.

They plan on getting a lawyer on Monday.

3 comments

  • Guest

    UNPAID admin leave, but a cop can shoot someone and get a PAID "vacation" until someone gets around to figuring out if it was a righteous shoot or not. Incredible.

    As a wife of a correctional officer (retired) we always worried some bored inmate would make up charges, get his "jailhouse lawyer" to write them up and sue us PAST the point of all we were worth – just for shyts and grins. Nothing better to do, might as well. All on UNPAID leave. Those guards don't have all the protections cops have, like dogs, back up (w/ guns, tasers and pepper spray), the ability to wrestle an inmate down w/o wondering if they're jeopardizing their family. They work, one or two ppl, in a wide open, mixed race, mixed gang yard w/ their wits, a 4 oz can of Mace and God. No protection, not even from the unions (THEY'RE a joke!!) any kind of "PBA rep", nothing and can be condemned – and find it out ONLINE – on the word of one disgruntled inmate! Oh and WE have to pay for our OWN lawyer, until the system decided, oh about a year or two down the road, that they MAY pay for the lawyers, they're still not sure yet. Ever met a layer not your immediate family member or husband/wife that would wait that long to be paid??? Yeah, right.

    And they do this w/o EVER being SEEN, much less praised, by "the outside world". It would surprise me if we even have a "Fallen Correctional Officer Memorial" anywhere! We may, but how many know if we do or if we don't. And for all this? My husband was PROUD of the job he did, most there were. Takes a special kind of person, I gotta tell you. And the CO is MORE important than anyone but the jury or the sentencing judge. Do the cops have any control over whether the perp they just busted stays even one night in jail? Heck no!! W/O CO's, they sure wouldn't, not 15 minutes, but they get all the perks, the guys/gals behind the walls get squat.

  • Brandon

    I think the big question here is why did we have criminals working as correctional officers at the prison? Daniel Graff has a violent criminal history dating back to 1993 when he was charged with felony assault charges! Doesn't the prison do background checks on these people?

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