Guard sentenced for freezing shackles

BEDFORD – After appealing a February harassment conviction for placing frozen shackles on an inmate, a former Bedford County jail guard was again found guilty Thursday and sentenced to 45 days’ imprisonment.

Ryan Scott Clapper, 26, of Schellsburg will likely serve his sentence in a different county to avoid conflicts in Bedford, District Attorney Bill Higgins said in a news release. He has until Aug. 12 to report for his sentence, Higgins said.

Clapper was first cited for harassment in August, after a female inmate claimed he had placed a frigid pair of handcuffs on her wrists. The inmate, who has since been released, said Clapper placed the cuffs in a jail freezer for an hour to punish her for prior complaints about cold shackles.

A fellow guard told Judge Travis Livengood that, when Clapper first told him of the freezing incident, he thought his colleague was joking. Only when he felt the cuffs and noticed condensation did he realize Clapper had made good on his threat, the guard reportedly testified.

Prison officials fired Clapper shortly after the incident.

At Clapper’s second court hearing Thursday, the former inmate’s father told the court that it’s important to know one’s child is safe from abuse, even in jail, Higgins said in a news release.

“Officer Clapper’s conduct was reprehensible and egregious,” Higgins said.