By Brian Maass

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A former Adams County Jail inmate plans to file a federal lawsuit against the Adams County Sheriff’s Office over a videotaped melee in the jail that he believes shows excessive and unnecessary force.

The incident took place last year and involved Alexander Garcia, who has a lengthy criminal record. He was given a wheelchair while in the jail due to what his attorneys say was a previous knee injury. On May 27, 2015, the jail videotape shows Garcia, in his wheelchair, talking to deputies.

According to reports from deputies reviewed by CBS4, Garcia was pressing deputies for mental health assistance. Deputies say Garcia was aggressive, was yelling, and they told Garcia to calm down — but that he continued his verbal barrage. Suddenly, Deputy Chris Long is seen grabbing Garcia out of his wheelchair. Other deputies are seen joining into the subsequent tussle. They say Garcia was “actively resistant” to efforts to get him to comply with commands from deputies. They eventually subdue Garcia, take him to the ground and handcuff him.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“To me it appears one of the deputies simply loses his cool,” said Marshall Breit, one of two attorneys representing Garcia. “I believe the whole thing was excessive. The video really speaks for itself.”

Sgt. Jim Morgen, a spokesperson for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, declined to discuss the incident citing a potential lawsuit. A spokesperson for Adams County also declined to discuss the jailhouse melee.

”Our county attorney’s office has been contacted by counsel for Mr. Garcia. With civil litigation expected. We are not able to provide any comment on the specifics of the case,” said Jim Siedlecki, Adams County Director of Public Information.

Following the altercation, the Adams County district attorney charged Garcia with four counts of second-degree assault, accusing him of assaulting three deputies. One of the deputies was hospitalized briefly after. He said Garcia punched him in the face three times. However shortly before trial the year, the district attorney dropped the assault charges against Garcia saying the dismissal was “in the interest of justice.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Garcia’s attorneys however question the arrest affidavit in the case which led to the assault charges. In it, an Adams County detective describes what happened in the jail but neglects to ever mention that Garcia was in a wheelchair. A judge signed the warrant leading to the assault charges.

“This did not need to turn physical and they should not have filed criminal charges against Mr. Garcia,” said Breit.

A second attorney representing Garcia, Luke McConnell, told CBS4 Garcia was sitting in his wheelchair and was making no threatening moves when the deputy pulled him from the chair.

“Mr. Garcia’s hands are in his lap. Its unreasonable force. No reason for them to be physical,” said McConnell.

After the melee, Garcia’s lawyers say deputies placed Garcia in an isolation cell, laying him on his stomach with his hands cuffed behind his back for 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Reports from deputies say Garcia was placed in the “quiet room” for “a cool down.”

According to legal documents reviewed by CBS4, Garcia is now being held in a state prison.

CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass has been with the station more than 30 years uncovering waste, fraud and corruption. Follow him on Twitter @Briancbs4.