Jan. 6 Detainee Christopher Quaglin Attacked in Jail, Denied Proper, Safe Diet, Attorney Says

Jan. 6 Detainee Christopher Quaglin Attacked in Jail, Denied Proper, Safe Diet, Attorney Says
Jan. 6 detainee Christopher Quaglin says his health is "poor at best" due to untreated celiac disease. He was recently attacked in jail. (Joseph McBride-Instagram/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)
Joseph M. Hanneman

A jailed Jan. 6 defendant who previously said “I fear I may die here” after being denied celiac-safe food was “viciously” assaulted by another inmate, causing an injury that required eight stitches, his attorney said.

Christopher C. Quaglin of New Jersey has been held without bail since his arrest in April 2021 while he awaits trial on charges related to the protests at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He’s charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding police, civil disorder, and obstruction of an official proceeding.

Christopher Quaglin with his wife Moria, who fears her husband could die without medical attention in federal custody. (Courtesy Quaglin Family)
Christopher Quaglin with his wife Moria, who fears her husband could die without medical attention in federal custody. (Courtesy Quaglin Family)

In early March, Quaglin was beaten by an inmate at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia, according to his attorney, Joseph D. McBride. When McBride learned about the incident, he demanded an emergency video meeting with Quaglin, but his request was denied, he said.

“It took about two weeks, two and a half weeks, before I was able to actually see his face,” McBride said. “By that time, the majority of the swelling had gone down, some of the wound had begun to heal. His eye was shut completely for about 10 days.

“Softball, just shut like a boxer,” McBride said. “He received eight stitches.”

McBride declined to discuss details of the attack “out of fear for his life.” Quaglin defended himself after he was “viciously attacked,” McBride said.

Quaglin was given antibiotics to take, along with ibuprofen for pain and swelling, but the medications were confiscated and he wasn’t allowed to take them, McBride said.

McBride said he spoke to Ted Hull, superintendent of the jail, but he was “not helpful.”

“All allegations of any type of misconduct had been denied,” McBride said. “And of course, the blame for the fight itself was put on Chris.”

As a result, Quaglin was put in solitary confinement, where he has spent the majority of his incarceration. “Chris is currently in the hole, 45 days in solitary confinement for his participation in a fight where he could have been killed,” McBride said.

Celiac Disease Worsens

Quaglin’s celiac disease has worsened since he arrived at Northern Neck Regional Jail, McBride said, because the jail will not provide the gluten-free diet Quaglin needs to be able to properly digest food.

“He has excruciating abdominal pain, worthy of hospitalization,” McBride said. “Each time he eats a non-celiac-safe meal, he bleeds out of his rectum. Sometimes he bleeds out of his mouth. He breaks out in lesions on his back. He becomes weak.”

Quaglin has survived by purchasing his own food from the jail commissary, a privilege he’s denied whenever he is put in solitary confinement, McBride said.

“He has lost 30 pounds. You’re losing this weight because you can’t eat. That’s how serious, that’s how painful it is,” McBride said. “The pain of starvation is easier to deal with than the pain from the type of celiac reaction that he has.”

When he is unable to access safe food from the commissary, Quaglin simply can’t eat, McBride said.

“When you’re saying, ‘Here, eat poison or don’t eat poison, the decision to not eat poison is not a choice,” he said. “It’s extreme duress. It’s medical torture.

“The jail, the government, the U.S. Attorney’s Office with Department of Justice, has been on notice about this for a long time. And they’re continuing to behave in this reprehensible manner.”

Quaglin said when he first arrived at Northern Neck, he wasn’t fed for five days. What food he’s able to eat “just isn’t enough,” he told McBride in a video call posted to Instagram. He described his health as “poor at best.”

“They don’t like anyone speaking out about people, or especially going to the press,” Quaglin said. “Since I’ve gone to the press, I’ve been treated very negatively.”

Superintendent Hull disputed McBride’s assertions.

“Inmate Quaglin’s care is consistent with his condition. Every situation inmate Quaglin has been involved in has been investigated and evaluated consistent with policy and practice,” Hull told The Epoch Times in an email.

“Contrary to Mr. McBride’s attempt to ‘create’ drama or leverage the situation to his client’s benefit, inmate Quaglin has experienced no adverse action, interaction or discipline not consistent with his institutional behavior.

“Inmate Quaglin is an inmate, no more no less, no different than any other and as all inmates is being treated safely, securely and humanely.

“Inmate Quaglin is fine. He is receiving the appropriate level of care and his conditions of confinement are consistent with his behavior.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said Quaglin’s story shows how the Biden administration is operating a “two-tiered legal system.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) at a news conference on March 17, 2022. Gohmert said detainee Chris Quaglin should be released from jail. (Rep. Louie Gohmert-Rumble/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) at a news conference on March 17, 2022. Gohmert said detainee Chris Quaglin should be released from jail. (Rep. Louie Gohmert-Rumble/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

“I support calls for Quaglin’s release to his home on his own recognizance, where he can be monitored on house arrest without continued punitive pretrial mistreatment and abuse,” Gohmert told The Epoch Times in a statement.

“The declining health of January 6 inmate Christopher Quaglin seems to make clear that January 6 defendants are being punished through their pretrial confinement, despite the Constitutional protection against punishing Americans who have not been convicted.”

‘Calloused Powers That Be’

“Obviously, the calloused powers that be, who are supposed to monitor our jail system and protect the rights of inmates, are willingly turning a blind eye to the unjust treatment of those who are innocent until proven guilty,” Gohmert said. “Those calloused individuals with the authority to protect inmates entrusted to their control are ignoring the requests of his family and his lawyer for adequate nutrition.”

Quaglin was held in the Central Detention Facility in Washington, D.C. McBride said he was moved in December 2021 after his photo appeared on the cover of U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s special report, “Unusually Cruel: An Eyewitness Report From Inside the DC Jail.” Quaglin has been moved at least a half-dozen times since his arrest.

Numerous Jan. 6 detainees have shared stories of beatings and other abuse. Thomas Caldwell, 66, told The Epoch Times about being shoved to the concrete floor during his 53-day confinement and kicked in the groin so many times he passed out. Jake Lang, 26, who rescued a man crushed in a stampede at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, said he was punched in the ribs by a jail guard for reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Federal Judge Royce C. Lamberth held two District of Columbia jail officials in civil contempt for delays in getting surgical treatment for a Jan. 6 detainee with a broken wrist. In October, Lamberth said the Department of Justice should open a civil rights investigation into the treatment of Jan. 6 detainees in federal custody.

Other detainees complained of being held in solitary confinement 24 hours a day for extended periods of time, being beaten by guards, and denied food, among other abuses.

Gohmert said Quaglin’s case and other examples from various detention facilities show contempt for people who haven’t been found guilty of anything.

“Even after being transferred to a new jail, [Quaglin’s] dietary needs are still not being met, and he is again being punished with solitary confinement,” Gohmert said. “The Biden administration is operating a two-tiered legal system that allows murderers back onto the street and yet allows a man with no criminal record who did not enter the Capitol to be subjected to endless pretrial punishment, harassment, mistreatment, and emotional abuse.”

Joseph M. Hanneman is a reporter for The Epoch Times with a focus on the January 6 Capitol incursion and its aftermath, as well as general Wisconsin news. In 2022, he helped to produce "The Real Story of Jan. 6," an Epoch Times documentary about the events that day. Joe has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. He can be reached at: [email protected]
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