Inmate Who Beat Fogle Wanted to 'Send a Message'

Family of Steven Nigg says he felt ex-Subway pitchman was getting special treatment
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2016 7:49 AM CDT
Inmate Who Beat Fogle Wanted to 'Send a Message'
In this Aug. 19, 2015, file photo, former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle leaves the federal courthouse in Indianapolis following a hearing on child-pornography charges.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Steven Nigg, the inmate who bloodied ex-Subway pitchman Jared Fogle in a prison-yard fight, did so because he hates child sex offenders and resents what he perceives as special treatment Fogle receives at the Colorado prison they're both housed in—and he wanted to "send a message," Nigg's nephew tells the Arizona Republic. "In … my uncle's words, people convicted of … crimes against children, sexual predators, rapists, they shouldn't be in a minimum-security prison," Jimmy Nigg says. "He felt like it wasn't fair. He [Fogle] gets to order any food he wants, he can use his money to do things," including paying other prisoners to protect him instead of "flying under the radar," per the New York Daily News. And Steven Nigg's "message" could've included something far worse for Fogle if Nigg hadn't exercised restraint, his nephew continues, noting that "if he wanted to kill Jared Fogle, he would have been able to."

Nigg's history as a career criminal in Arizona doesn't cast him in a positive light, despite his nephew telling the Daily News his uncle "doesn't have a violent history": Described in the mid-'70s by a Phoenix police detective as one of the "worst criminals" he'd seen, Nigg was in his early 20s when he first started his prison career with a 15- to 30-year sentence for a robbery spree. Per the Arizona Department of Corrections website, Nigg had a particularly troublesome year in 1988: He caught heat for deliberately starting a fire, striking someone, and issuing a verbal threat, among other infractions. After his 1989 release, he was arrested again on various charges, including battery, disorderly conduct, and obstructing a cop, but it was a more low-key crime that sent him back to prison for the long haul: selling items from his dad's estate, including antique guns, which he wasn't allowed to do because of his criminal background. (More Jared Fogle stories.)

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