SUMMIT COUNTY, OHIO – Was it wrong for a sheriff’s deputy to force jail inmates to dance to Usher? “Yeah!,” an internal investigation has found.
R&B artist Usher’s song “Yeah!” hit the top of the charts in 2004. But it wasn’t a hit at an Ohio jail, where a deputy allegedly forced inmates to dance to “Yeah!” in order to use the jail’s microwave.
Another inmate was forced to “do the robot” in order to use the phone after he learned a family member had died, an internal investigation found, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
Summit County Sheriff’s Deputy Dominic Martucci, 35, was initially suspended, and then fired for mistreating the inmates and having a cell phone in the jail. Martucci blasted Usher’s “Yeah!” from his phone, and called other deputies over to watch the inmates’ forced dance moves, the Beacon Journal reports.
“Stop and watch this, it’s going to be funny,” Martucci said to a fellow deputy at the jail, the sheriff’s report said.
The forced dancing took place April 11, when five inmates were under lockdown — forced to remain in their cells.
Martucci “told the inmates that if they wanted out of lock up and the microwave back, that they would have to dance for him,” an internal investigation found.
The five inmates were forced to dance to Usher’s “Yeah!” One tore up the floor with “the worm,” a popular hip-hop dance move. At least three other sheriff’s deputies watched — and stood watch to make sure no supervisors were around, investigators said.
When one of the dancing inmates “messed up,” Martucci demanded the inmate dance for another minute “to my liking,” the sheriff’s report said.
All five inmates were eventually released from lockdown. But one of the dancing inmates snitched on Martucci, triggering an investigation.
Martucci — whose father ran unsuccessfully for Summit County sheriff in March — admitted to wrongdoing, but said he only wanted to “lighten the tension,” the Beacon Journal reports. The deputies who watched were given disciplinary notices, Cleveland’s WEWS-TV reports.
As for how the forced-dancing inmates reacted to Deputy Dominic Martucci’s firing, we can only speculate. Our best guess, it was something like: “Yeah!”