Nation And World

Florida correctional officer accused of trying to poison inmate with bleach, officials say

OCALA, Fla. — A Florida correctional officer was arrested Saturday morning after she tried to poison an inmate with bleach, according to an arrest affidavit.

The affidavit said Qualesha Williams, who worked at Lowell Correctional Institution, sprayed bleach into a cup before giving an inmate her breakfast.

An inmate who helps serve the food claims Williams set a cup aside and said, "That one is special," the affidavit said.

Williams reportedly then offered to serve some of the inmates.

The report said Williams brought a specific food tray and the cup with the bleach to a specific prisoner.

When that prisoner tried to give the tray and cup to her cellmate, Williams reportedly said: “That is your tray. If she wants one, she can get up and get it.”

The prisoner told Williams her breakfast smelled like bleach.

The report said Williams did nothing about it and then she left.

Investigators believe Williams and the inmate had a heated argument earlier in the shift but they didn’t say what it was about.

When confronted, the report said Williams admitted she put bleach in the cup.

When asked why she did it, the report said, she wrote a note saying: “If I say I was trying to maintain my quad, do I get to keep my job? Cause God knows, I was and never will ever hurt anyone.”

Williams was released from jail Saturday morning after she posted $25,000 bail.

The Florida Department of Corrections released a statement regarding Williams’ employment:

“FDC is moving forward with the immediate dismissal of Correctional Officer Qualesha Quayshaun Williams, who was assigned to Lowell Correctional Institution. Institution leadership, upon receiving the allegation, immediately contacted the FDC Office of Inspector General so a timely and thorough investigation could be performed.

"The Florida Department of Corrections takes all allegations of abuse or mistreatment of inmates seriously and encourages all inmates and staff to promptly report inappropriate or illegal conduct. Inmates are afforded every opportunity to report misconduct without fear of retribution.

“The OIG is responsible for ensuring all reports of misconduct are thoroughly investigated. Any employee found to have acted inappropriately or illegally faces disciplinary action up to and including dismissal and arrest. FDC has zero tolerance for staff who act inappropriately and contrary to our core values: respect, integrity, courage, selfless service and compassion.”

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