HOUSTON – The document reads like a scene from a prison movie, yet what many perceive to remain in the fictional world, allegedly happened right at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Jail in downtown Houston.
According to documents obtained by KPRC 2, a lone inmate was brutally attacked by nearly a dozen others while a guard with advance knowledge of the plan, not only allowed, but approved it to happen.
The following chain of events, which allegedly happened on Nov. 29, are outlined in a “summary of facts” released by investigators.
On that day, an inmate, Antwanne Lee, was transferred to the 6th floor of the HCSO Jail located at 701 N San Jacinto Street. Lee said, while standing on the vestibule, he was threatened by other inmates who were displaying street signs with their hands.
Lee told a detention officer that he did not feel safe going into the 6D2 block and the officer told him to return to the Floor Control Center (FCC), where Lee waited another couple of hours. It was nearing a shift change.
Documents state that at 3 p.m., Lee was again told to report to the 6D2 pod, to which he complied.
Lee said, however, when he went into the pod he “felt a weird vibe” and sensed he was in danger.
Lee pushed a call button and told another male detention officer that he did not feel safe, asking to be removed from the tank. Lee said the guard ignored his concerns.
According to the document, it was at that point that Lee told the guard if he did not remove him, he would touch and fondle himself inappropriately. Again, Lee said the officer ignored him.
Lee made good on his threat and hopped on the top of another inmate’s bunk bed and began to touch himself. The cameras caught this, which was timestamped at 5:27 p.m.
When the guard saw what he was doing, he yelled at Lee over the intercom to stop, which caught the attention of other inmates.
Lee told investigators that one of the inmates asked the guard, “you want us to jump him?” to which the guard replied, “Hurry up. I’m ‘bout to get off work.”
The other inmates sprang into action, preparing for their assault, documents state. Their actions were also caught on camera.
Cameras show inmates putting on shoes (a typical practice of inmates prior to a fight commonly referred to as “lacing up”), a broom was staged against the wall at the base of the stairs and pots of water were heated up. Inmates are also shown shadowboxing, and encouraging each other to get energized before the assault.
Then at 5:31 p.m., the brawl began.
Lee was instructed to go to the first floor and, at that point, documents state that Rae Johnny Benson performed a “flying kick to the chest and face of Lee,” pushing him into the corner, where he was surrounded. Benson then allegedly began to beat Lee repeatedly with the broom while another inmate, Ricardo Quinones, struck Lee repeatedly with a mop and mop handle.
Lee was able to get away momentarily and fled half-way up the stairs, where he was doused with hot water, documents state.
One of the inmates, identified as Darrick Carriere, was armed with an “improvised edged weapon” commonly referred to as a “shank,” but he dropped it during the attack.
Lee managed to grab the shank and stabbed Carriere and another inmate, Bobby Johnson, with it. Lee tried to run down four steps to the floor, but found himself surrounded again, according to documents.
At 5:34 p.m., another guard came across what investigators described as a mob attack and put an end to it all by deploying a burst of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC).
Johnson suffered two stab wounds to his left forearm. He was treated at the jail clinic. Carriere was stabbed in the chest and back and had to be transported to Ben Taub Hospital for treatment and stitches.
Lee said he was in great pain from all the blows he sustained and the extremely hot water that was thrown on him.
The other inmates who participated in the attack were identified as Roger Schooler, Fredrick Gibson, Kennith Morrison, Oshey Petters, Gregory Kyles, Delmar Leban and Joe Hernandez.
The document said all inmates involved in the attack have been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
This incident is yet another issue that Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez is facing right now. On Oct. 29, a 98-pound inmate with special needs, Fred Harris, was beaten to death in an “unprovoked attack” by another inmate at the jail facility located at 1200 Baker Street. On Dec. 6, a female sergeant was brutally beaten and sexually assaulted by an inmate, also housed at the 1200 Baker Street jail.
The Harris County Deputies’ Organization is calling for increased staff and improved staffing procedures. Sheriff Gonzalez recently held a press conference addressing those concerns and the hardships the guards face.