Rioting prisoners caused water damage, attempted escape

15 Apr

A disturbance at the privately owned Hudson Correctional Facility 25 miles northeast of Denver International Airport was sparked when cell doors in a unit housing 41 inmates from Alaska inexplicably opened early this morning.

Charles Seigel, spokesman for the Cornell Companies, which operates the prison, said his company is investigating whether the doors opened at about 1:20 a.m. in the prison’s segregation unit because of an electronic malfunction or human error.

When inmates realized the cell doors were open, many left their cells but most returned a short time later. However, as many as a dozen began destroying sprinkler heads and computers. They also tried to break out of the building by breaking windows.

The disturbance caused widespread water damage. The unit was littered with water, paper and smashed computers.

Seigel said that two guards who were in the unit fled to a captain’s office where they locked and barricaded the door.

Seigel said prison officials decided to let things cool down before acting. At 7:30 a.m., the prison sent in its emergency response team. The team used tear gas to subdue the inmates.

No corrections officers were injured. But Seigel said some of the inmates had bruises and abrasions. He said the instigator of the disturbance suffered the worst injury, a cut hand.

Seigel said rioters will be charged under Colorado law.

Seigel said the entire prison, which houses 877 inmates from Alaska, is on lockdown, with all inmates remaining in their cells. He said the lockdown will remain through at least Thursday.

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