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Sheriff Dupnik shocked and angry at "hooligans"

Sheriff Dupnik shocked and angry at "hooligans"

CREATED Sep 21, 2012

 Sheriff Dupnik speaks to KGUN 9 about his corrections officers at the center of a vicious attack.

Reporter: Tammy Vo

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - On Friday, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik released more information to KGUN 9 about the violent beatdown outside of the Buffet Bar late Tuesday night. The Sheriff now says that sixteen of his jail officers may be involved in some way. All were placed on administrative leave.

"I've been in law enforcement for over fifty years. I've never seen something so vile as this incident. It's tremendously upsetting" he said.

Late Tuesday night, the Sheriff says that a total of around sixteen corrections officers went to the Buffet bar on 9th street for drinks, and Tucson Police say that five of them ended up badly beating two men in an unprovoked attack outside. A father and his 17 year old son tried to stop the beating, and ended up getting beat up as well by the officers, say police. All five were arrested and now face felony assault charges. Two of them have been fired from their jobs.

Now, it turns out that at least sixteen officers were involved. The Sheriff will not say how, because the investigation is still ongoing. While they may not have violated any laws criminally, their jobs may still be on the line.

"One of the people there was a supervisor. A sergeant. We aren't sure how things transpired but sergeants have more of a responsibility of behavior" said the Sheriff.

The internal investigation may conclude next week when Tucson Police release additional information to Pima County Sheriff's Department. When that happens, there could be more firings.

"It tends to taint all of us. We have a good crew. To take a handful of people who've become hooligans basically, it's very discontenting" said Dupnik.

While jail officers go through rigorous training, they are not sworn peace officers of the law.