Inmates riot in Cecil County jail

Prisoners smash property

troopers, Delaware officers answer call

March 19, 2007|By Annie Linskey | Annie Linskey,sun reporter

ELKTON -- Out-of-state police were called to help with a riot that broke out at a maximum-security tier of the Cecil County Detention Center early yesterday, officials said.

The incident began about 4 a.m. when a correctional officer discovered a 26-year-old inmate bleeding from two wounds, said Capt. Linda S. Lannen, deputy director of the detention center, in an e-mail statement.

After medics were called, 16 or so other inmates in the maximum-security tier "began destroying property and refused to be placed back in the cells," Lannen said. Cameras and windows were destroyed, she said.

Investigators later found a hole in the fence around the prison; officials suspect the riot was planned to divert attention from an escape attempt, Lannen said. No inmates escaped.

Officials did not release further details about the incident.

The Delaware State Police sent three officers to the Cecil County facility about 5:30 a.m., said Sgt. Joshua A. Bushweller, a Delaware State Police spokesman. Delaware's New Castle County police also sent two officers. Those officers arrived on the scene about 6 a.m.

Lannen downplayed the importance of needing out-of-state help to control inmates. She said that Cecil County correctional staff merely requested a police dog from the Delaware State Police.

Maryland State Police dispatched four officers from their North East barracks. "We stood by with detained inmates until they could be interviewed," said Cpl. Michael Tagliaferri. Maryland troopers were on the scene from about 5:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., he said.

Cecil County sheriff's deputies and Elkton police also responded.

Corrections officials did not release the name of the injured inmate yesterday but said that the inmate was treated at Union Hospital.

The inmates involved in the riot were put on lockdown status, Lannen said.

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