Oklahoma inmates riot for eight hours
TULSA — Hundreds of inmates, some armed with baseball bats and iron pipes, rioted at an Oklahoma federal prison for about eight hours, taking two guards hostage and refusing to return to their cells before they were finally corralled by law enforcement officers, authorities said Monday.
The riot started late Sunday at the Great Plains Correctional Facility in Hinton after a fight broke out in the prison yard and rapidly escalated from there, Caddo County Sheriff Lennis Miller said. Miller said the inmates refused to return to their cells and at one point occupied a building in the complex, which is about 55 miles west of Oklahoma City.
Miller said about 150 inmates were involved, but The GEO Group Inc., the Florida-based operator of the private prison, estimated Monday that about 400 inmates caused the disturbance in two recreation yards. Miller said prisoners, some toting bats and pipes, took two guards hostage at the outset of the riot but that both were freed and uninjured.
Miller said authorities used pepper spray and stun grenades to corral inmates into a soccer field and an exercise yard. The riot ended early Monday after roughly eight hours, authorities said.
Authorities observe prison grounds Monday from the roof above the front gate of the Great Plains Correctional Facility in Hinton, Okla., where inmates rioted.