Inmates riot at Boyd County jail

Published 12:24 pm Monday, August 21, 2017

10 inmates set fire in hallway on Saturday night

ASHLAND, Ky. — The Boyd County Detention Center has had to move inmates to different jails after a riot on Saturday night.

According to Boyd County Jailer Joe Burchett said at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, a small riot broke out but was contained to a single cell.

Ten maximum security inmates, all of whom have been charged with violent crimes like murder, attempted murder, robbery and assault, fought with two deputies.

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The deputies had to retreat and called for backup. They were unable to close the cell doors before inmates forced their way out. The inmates were still contained in a hallway, where they stacked blankets, mail, toilet paper and other flammable items against both entry doors and set the piles on fire.

A plan for retaking the detention center was made, once additional jailers, police officers, sheriff’s deputies, fire and EMS personnel from Boyd, Greenup and Carter counties, as well as Kentucky State Police officers, arrived at the facility.

Officers entered the hallway where the rioters were, and the fires were extinguished. Deputies regained control of the inmates, who were restrained and removed from the area.

Due to heavy smoke, inmates in other cells were taken into the recreation yard.

While the facility is still housing some inmates, 70 inmates were transferred to the Little Sandy Detention Center, Carter County Detention Center and the Pike County Detention Center.

Burchett said some early media reports said the facility had been without water or electricity for several days, which he said was not true.

“Electricity was never interrupted and water was only off for about two hours prior to the riot incident due to an inmate damaging a sprinkler head,” he said, adding the sprinkler head caused “substantial water damage to the facility control systems.”

Burchett added that no inmates or staff received more than minor injuries during the incident.

The Kentucky State Police are investigating the incident.

Earlier, the Boyd County Detention Center had four inmates escape the facility.

Around 4 a.m. on the morning of July 30, four inmates the detention area via a pipe chase, broke through into a mop closet into an unsecure area of the jail, and went out an emergency fire exit. They weren’t discovered missing until a 6:30 a.m. head count.

Two inmates were captured the same day and another was captured three days later.

Authorities are still looking for the fourth escapee, Timothy Shawn Bates, 26. Burchett has offered a $500 reward for Bates, who has ties to Flatwoods and other areas of Greenup County, Wheelersburg, Portsmouth and Lucasville in Ohio and Huntington, West Virginia. He is wanted in Boyd and Greenup counties in Kentucky and Cabell County in West Virginia.

Anyone who sees Bates, or  has information on his location, can call 911 or the Boyd County Detention Center at 606-739-4224, option 1, ext. 264 (booking).