Cook County Wants Answers To Jail Brawl

CHICAGO (CBS) – A major brawl at Cook County Jail leaves almost a dozen people injured.

The Cook County Sheriff’s office wants to know Wednesday how inmates got their weapons. They are conducting an ongoing investigation as to who the source of the brawl was.

CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli spoke with jail authorities.

Chicago Fire Department went Tuesday night around 8:45 p.m. to an emergency medical service plan 2 The plan called for 10 ambulances after a massive fight broke out at the Cook County Jail.

Several ambulances pulled away Tuesday night from the maximum security wing of the cook County Jail after inmates from three different tiers began brawling at dinner time.

“It could’ve been over 100 detainees involved,” said Nneka Jones Tapia, Executive Director at Cook County Jail. “All fighting.”

The 38-year-old jail boss is not sure on the exact number of inmate fight, Jones Tapia is sure of one thing.

It could have been deadly.

But it was not.

Up to 100 correctional officers converged on the three separate tiers over the course of an hour to bring the melee under control.

And in many cases they did not have to put themselves in harms way.

“They did it to not only make sure their colleagues were safe, but detainees,” Jones Tapia said.

Eight detainees housed in Division 9 were taken to area hospitals, with non-life threatening injuries.

“They did have some bleeding, some puncture wounds,” Jones Tapia said.

Two correctional deputies, who were struck by food trays, were also transported Tuesday to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. One deputy was treated and released. The others remain in the hospital for observation. One tore his meniscus while responding to the scene. The others were injured in the brawl.

Three of the detainees transported have been treated and released, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office. Five remain in the hospital.

Other detainees with minor injuries were treated on site at the jail.

Jones Tapia said tragedy was averted by the quick response of the many officers who heard the call for help and in her words bravely came running.

“The ones that did saved us and saved those detainees,” Jones Tapia said.

There are numerous videotapes of the brawl, that show that food trays were used as a weapon during this melee.

The videos are currently being looked at and instigators will be punished. The investigation into the altercations, as well as the source of the weapons used, is ongoing.

Sheriff Dart said in a statement, he would “like to thank his staff whose diligent bravery and expertise resulted in securing the building and minimizing injuries to deputies and detainees.”

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