Hardin County deputy jailer arrested after fight with sheriff's deputy

Hardin County deputy jailer arrested after fight with sheriff's deputy

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - A deputy jailer in Hardin County was arrested and suspended with pay after a fight with a sheriff's deputy, officials said.

The Hardin County jailer and sheriff held a press conference on Wednesday to address the incident.

Deputy Jailer Joe Funk was arrested on Feb. 8 after the dispute with Deputy Clennon Smith who was turning over inmate property, according to a press release from the jail. Funk was suspended the next day.

"It is very unfortunate that this incident occurred," the press release read. "Sometimes bad decisions and anger causes people to make the wrong choice."

The fight was caught on camera from the booking area of the detention center. There is no audio from the video.

According to police reports, Funk and Smith got into a fight after Smith tried to hand property of an inmate over to Funk.

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Funk is accused of throwing the property back. In the video you can see him move from around the booking gate, he walks toward Smith and he threw his arms up in the air. The deputy then pushed Funk.

The two men start fighting and several people jump in. They separate.

According to a police report, Smith told Funk to get on the ground and another jailer jumped in. Smith told him to let go because Funk was under arrest.

Smith said Funk refused to comply with his demands to put his hands behind his back.

Then it got even more physical. Smith said he punched Funk several times. He was eventually placed in handcuffs and left with injuries.

In a statement, Funk said he had a bloody nose, swollen lip, sore neck and bruising on his hand. Funk said he was reluctant to follow Smith's commands because he didn't understand why he was being arrested.

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Jailer Danny Allen and Hardin County Sheriff John Ward would not say if Smith and Funk had issues in the past.

Smith is still on the job.

Allen said Funk was taken into custody but not placed in a cell because his status as a jail employee might have made him a target for other inmates. He is no longer in the custody of corrections. Funk is facing charges of menacing, resisting arrest and assault.

Funk is due in court on Feb. 17, Allen said.

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