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story.lead_photo.caption A screenshot of a Crawford County deputy's body camera shows dozens of inmates riot at the facility on March 8, 2019. Video courtesy of the Crawford County sheriff's office.

Dozens of inmates at a county jail in western Arkansas racked up thousands of dollars in damages during a riot Friday, leading to at least five criminal charges and a weekend lockdown of the facility, the Crawford County sheriff said Wednesday.

Five people were charged with inciting the riot, which happened around 7:30 p.m. Friday at the 307-bed facility in Van Buren, the sheriff’s office said. A jailer tried removing an inmate, identified as Joshua Estes, from a common area when he became unruly and the 39 inmates began rioting, officials said.

The sheriff’s office released video of the frenzy captured from deputies’ and other law enforcement officers’ body cameras. The footage shows inmates breaking ceiling lights, tearing off ceiling panels and shouting before multiple officers storm in and handcuff them.

A guard said in the video that she tried removing an inmate who “disrespected” her from a 40-person area when others became combative and circled her and another guard. “I didn’t mean for all of this to happen,” she said to other guards who stood behind a thick window as inmates threw things at it.

In the videos, officers don’t start filming until after the inmates begin rioting.

Sheriff Ron Brown said the inmates broke a sprinkler system and caused water to gush out as water accumulated in a library and jail cells because of an apparent drainage clog.

Officials estimate the cost of the damage to be upwards of $20,000, and the facility was put on lockdown until Monday.

Another video shows several law enforcement officers from other agencies storm into the common area and yell for inmates to get on the ground as they handcuff them in the pooling water.

Other footage shows officers march handcuffed inmates through water and into another common area where inmates sit against walls.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the riot because the jail only had a handful of guards on duty at the time, Brown said.

Estes, a state Department of Correction inmate awaiting trial for theft and drug charges in Crawford County, was among those charged with inciting a riot. He’s seen on video talking to a jail official who described him as the riot's “main instigator.” The officer explained he’d be placed away from other inmates while at the jail.

The riot ended at about 1:30 a.m. and no one was seriously injured during the disturbance, Brown said.

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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  • 0boxerssuddenlinknet
    March 13, 2019 at 3:22 p.m.

    a zoo

  • Robert0114
    March 13, 2019 at 6:19 p.m.

    If only the whites would teach their own to obey the authorities when they interact with them!!!! Why weren’t laying down in that sewage????

  • LRDawg
    March 13, 2019 at 6:31 p.m.

    GenMaKKK these guys don't look like jaywalkers LMAO these THUGS are lucky they're white....if they were black 1 or 2 would of been killed

  • Popsmith
    March 13, 2019 at 6:34 p.m.

    Turn off the lights, water, and heat. Might get their attention.

  • GeneralMac
    March 13, 2019 at 7:54 p.m.

    LRDAWG......the difference is that when WHITES do this you don't see W HITES defending their actions.

    "if only they had better schools" boo, hoo, hoo PopMom says when Blacks act like wild savages.

    I know of no WHITES defending them and they should have been tear gassed then tazed to let them glop around in the water/sewage.

  • mrcharles
    March 13, 2019 at 7:56 p.m.

    Are they good southern folk.

    Let's be fair they probably have funny names, born to parents with no respect to law and order, and more likely to have a Confederate sticker on their vehicle than old glory. But no matter what they remain proud that the deity did not make them a minority, otherwise no telling what the cons here would call them.

  • MaxCady
    March 13, 2019 at 8:14 p.m.

    If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

  • MaxCady
    March 13, 2019 at 10:16 p.m.

    Three hots and a cot in what looks like a decent, fairly new facility. What do dem crackas have to be mad about?

  • FireEyes
    March 14, 2019 at 10:28 a.m.

    @MAXCADY - Mad cuz they got caught and taking it out on whoever whenever. As my criminal justice prof said, crooks aren't crooks because they're smart.

  • MaxCady
    March 14, 2019 at 2:22 p.m.

    Rhetorical question, Fireeye.