Jail inmate is charged with serious battery

Eric White Sr.

ELKHART — A county jail inmate is accused of beating another inmate and leaving the man with a broken rib and punctured lung.

Eric White Sr., 57, is charged with aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony, in the warrant for his arrest issued last week. He’s charged in a March incident when he allegedly pulled another inmate out of bed at the Elkhart County Correctional Facility and kicked him repeatedly on the floor.

His bond is set at $25,000 in the warrant. A Level 3 felony carries a punishment of up to 16 years in prison.

According to court documents:

A correction officer responded to a report of an inmate who was unresponsive in his cell on March 3. The victim was having difficulty breathing and he told the officer that multiple people had come into the cell, pulled him from his bunk and kicked him.

The victim was taken to Elkhart General Hospital, where he underwent multiple surgeries to repair a broken rib and punctured lung. At the hospital, he told a correctional investigator that White had ripped him out of his bunk and he landed on the concrete floor.

He wasn’t sure how many times White had hit and kicked him after that, but he recalled that the last blow from White was a kick.

The investigator viewed surveillance footage from the dayroom, which showed another inmate telling White that he told the victim to take a shower but the victim refused. The video then showed White jump up and to into the victim’s cell, followed by three other men.

White then yelled at the victim, pulled him out of his bunk and hit and kicked him.

Inmates the investigator interviewed said White “ran the pod” in his area of the jail and that people did what he said. They said an inmate had complained to White about the victim, and that he was angry over the victim’s refusal to shower.

Another inmate claimed it was someone other than White who pulled the victim out of bed and beat him.

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