Four prisoners face charges after a mini-riot at a county jail over the weekend in Sarpy County. Four men attacked the fire sprinklers last Friday in what's called the “holding tank” they're now facing charges for causing so much damage.
The damage that these men created is being taken very seriously by the Sarpy County Attorney's Office. They say that the damage started to rain down on the very people who would be defending at least two of these men. But public defenders say it won't influence their legal counseling.
WOWT 6 News had the only camera there at the first court appearance for the four inmates. For the defenders the damage was more of an inconvenience to them as they started their week. Greg London with the Sarpy County Sheriff’s said repairing the damage will be costly.
"I think ballpark figure right now we're looking at about $100,000,” said London. “They totally destroyed one of the sprinkler heads and the water started spraying out of that head."
The sheriff's office says four men became unruly and damaged about 11 sprinklers after one man instigated the others.
"Apparently he prefers to be in the Douglas County jail versus the Sarpy County Jail,” said London.
They believe the unrest was over the fact that there are no TV’s at the Sarpy County jail. That may be one factor, but it's never caused unrest like this; the first damaging mini-riot they've ever seen.
"For one thing there was so much water coming out of that sprinkler head and eventually the drain clogged and the water had nowhere to go,” said London.
Nowhere to go but downstairs to the public defender's office where it damaged computers, office supplies, ceiling tiles and the flooring which is carpet.
"Every day we're over capacity and we have to house inmates in other facilities,” said London.
Having no access to 22 holding rooms while repairs are done has this jail filled to the max. Fortunately, the Sarpy and Douglas County jails have a great relationship so 18 men have been transported to the Douglas County Jail including the four who are now facing criminal mischief and terroristic threat charges.
A judge set their bail for $1 one million each for three and $500,000 for the fourth prisoner.