Nassau County

‘He lost control’: Nassau deputy arrested, fired for battery on an inmate, sheriff says

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. — A Nassau County Sheriff’s Office corrections officer has been arrested and fired after the sheriff said the officer “let his temper take control” when dealing with an inmate in the jail.

Joshwa Edsall, 27, was arrested for battery on Tuesday, according to an NCSO arrest report.


NCSO said the incident leading to Edsall’s arrest happened on Saturday, Oct. 15. Edsall was dealing with an inmate who wanted a private cell and was causing a disturbance.

Edsall used pepper spray in an effort to “gain control of the inmate,” NCSO said.

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The inmate turned around to wipe the pepper spray from his eyes and at that point, deputies said Edsall “grabbed the inmate by his shoulder and armpit and threw him into a concrete wall causing head and facial injuries,” NCSO said.

While the inmate was on the ground, deputies said Edsall “forcibly drove his knee” into the inmate’s back and used his Taser as another deputy handcuffed the inmate.

The inmate was taken to Baptist Medical Center Nassau to receive treatment for his injuries.

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Sheriff Bill Leeper issued the following statement about Edsall’s firing and arrest:

“Obviously, this is not what we would expect from our employees. When we take people into our custody, they should expect a safe and professional environment, and this type of conduct will not be tolerated. The expectation is that our members of the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office exhibit the highest level of professionalism. We are disappointed by this outcome and the proper punishment in this case is arrest and termination of employment. For some reason Edsall let his temper take control and take over. He lost control and he lost his job. When he was called in for a complaint interview he said he was expecting it because he knew he crossed the line. Per our agency’s policy an officer can only use that force which is necessary to overcome the resistance. In this case he used unnecessary and excessive force to control the situation of an inmate. I’m not going to tolerate bad behavior by our citizens and I’m not going to tolerate bad behavior by our employees. It’s unfortunate that someone would decide to lose his job and his career, but that’s exactly what he did.”

—  Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper

Edsall was hired by NCSO on March 24, 2022 and was still on probation.

NCSO said there have been no other issues or complaints involving Edsall during that time. He previously worked for the Florida Department of Corrections.

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