An imprisoned former Border Patrol agent who was beaten in his sleep has injuries that are more serious than previously reported, said a congressman on Friday.
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., met with Ignacio Ramos, who was convicted in March for the nonfatal shooting of a Mexican drug smuggler. Ramos is serving an 11-year sentence at Yazoo Correctional Complex in Mississippi.
Tancredo said he was astonished at the injuries on Ramos' body, which he said did not coincide with reports from the prison earlier this week that described his injuries as "minor."
"His bruises were deep and severe," Tancredo said. "His arm, chest and back are black and blue with broken blood vessels on his arm. It was terrible."
Ramos was beaten Saturday night by roughly a half-dozen inmates who recognized him from a TV show that aired shortly before 10 p.m. He was pulled from his cell, which remains unlocked until midnight, by the inmates and kicked repeatedly by the men who were wearing steel-toed boots. The boots are issued to inmates for their daily work, according to the prison's Web site.
Ramos did not see a doctor until Wednesday, Tancredo said.
According to a prison press release, "Ramos was evaluated by medical staff at the institution, who determined he had sustained some bruises and abrasions."
Charles Smith, a spokesman for the institution, also said in the release that Ramos' injuries "were minor in nature."
"Inmate Ramos was subsequently placed in the Special Housing Unit pending a thorough investigation of the incident. He will remain in the Special Housing Unit until the conclusion of this investigation."
Prison officials have interviewed six inmates associated with the assault, Tancredo added. The congressman said he is working to move the former agent to a facility where Ramos will be safe.
Representatives of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, visited the facility with Tancredo. Tara Setmayer, Rohrabacher's communications director, said she was astonished at the injuries Ramos sustained.
Setmayer said Reese refused to allow her, or Tancredo, to view photos taken of Ramos the night of the incident or any documents regarding the ongoing investigation into the case.
"To underestimate the seriousness of the assault on (Ramos) is a disingenuous characterization by the prison officials," Setmayer said. "He clearly is the victim of a vicious attack. And the ineptitude demonstrated by prison officials with such a high-profile prisoner is troubling."