SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Before two Uintah County jail inmates could join a work crew, they had to "ride the lightning," according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.
That meant grabbing hold of hooks fastened to a car battery and absorbing the electrical shock to amuse the jailers, the lawsuit alleges. The two former inmates are suing the jail, two guards and the state of Utah because one of the inmates was a state prisoner.
Uintah County Sheriff’s Office Jeff Merrell on Friday said he had not heard about or the lawsuit, nor had he ever heard of or received complaints about inmates being shocked with car batteries.
Merrell said the two corrections officers named in the lawsuit no longer work for Uintah County and couldn’t recall ever receiving complaints about them. The two officers "moved on to other employment. It was not a termination or anything," Merrell said.