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San Bernardino Union Man Nicoli Domico Says Deputies Beat Him After Smiling During Mug Shot

You know how you're not supposed to horse around at airport security? No joking about the fake bomb in your sock or giggling about ... well, anything at all.

You can now add another location to the list of places where folks don't appreciate a smile or a sense of humor:

The San Bernardino County West Valley Detention Center.

That is, if you believe Nicoli Domico, who claims sheriff's deputies beat him for smiling while they were taking his mug shot.

According to his lawsuit against San Bernardino County, Domico says he was driving in his hometown of Upland, about 35 miles east of Downtown LA, when he was pulled over and arrested.

Domico claims he followed the officers' orders to the letter as they booked him into the jail, but that the deputies did not like it when he flashed a grin in front of the camera.

According to Domico's lawsuit:

One of the deputies became irritated with [Domico] for allegedly displaying a slight smile and asked [Domico] if something was funny. Domico did not reply. Another deputy then said, "Looks like we got a clown in here."

When [Domico] was asked to turn to the left, which he did without hesitation, several deputies violently grabbed him and slammed his head onto the counter where the fingerprinting equipment was stationed. The deputies proceeded to twist [Domico's] arm up behind his back as they slid his head and upper torso along the fingerprinting counter ... [Domico] was shown absolutely no respect during the booking process and was treated in various inhumane ways.

Domico, a member of the Plumbers and Steamfitters union, claims he has not been able to work since the alleged July 7 incident and is suffering from injuries to his face, arms, shoulder and eyes.


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