By Kiet Do

SANTA CRUZ (KPIX 5) – There was a wild scene inside the Santa Cruz County Jail, where masked inmates armed with soap, books and mattresses booby-trapped an entire cell block.

A simple complaint led to a full-scale revolt.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Brian Cleveland said, “Once negotiations failed, they had blocked the room, they had made threats to our officers and the decision was made at that point to make an entry about 2 p.m. on Tuesday.”

It was a mess inside the l-unit of the west wing at the Santa Cruz County Jail.

Deputies say it was a minefield of booby traps. Bedsheets were tied across the railing to act as tripwires, soapy water was thrown on the floor to create a slipping hazard, mattresses were used to block access to the stairs and windows were smashed.

This all started Monday, when the inmates complained that it was too cold. They were offered extra clothes and blankets, but apparently, they said no.

Maintenance crews were then called in to check the system.

Cleveland said, “The temperature that we noted in all the units was in the high 60s, low 70s, so it wasn’t cold by any means.”

He said it may have potentially been an excuse to pick a fight.

“Some of the inmates have grievances about things and our staff does a great job of trying to work with the inmates,” Cleveland said.

As tensions rose, the inmates covered up the surveillance cameras, and put sheets over the windows.

They donned masks and socks over their arms as armor, and put in earplugs to protect their hearing.

Officers, dressed in riot gear, entered the jail and used stingball devices filled with rubber pellets, along with bean bag rounds.

It ended very quickly after that.

It took 15 workers three hours to clean up the mess.

“I really think that this is an isolated incident,” Cleveland said. “This does not happen at our jail. We have a pretty progressive jail that meets with inmates and discusses problems and it’s easy for them to file grievances with things that are going on.”

Comments (55)
  1. mjazzguitar says:

    Open borders have ruined the lives of hard working Americans.

  2. Progressive jail. That pretty much says it all. Put that block on management status for a while. Eliminate the means to pull this off again. In other words, run it like a jail.

    1. This is what happens when you coddle criminals. Only in the Peoples Republic of Kalifornia would this behavior be tolerated in a county jail.

  3. Tom Ronson says:

    I hope they take the leaders of this revolt and put them on segregation. Only allow them out of their cells for one hour of every 24 hour period. 6 months of this and their attitude will change.

  4. Mike Taylor says:

    not a jail if inmates are in charge!

  5. David Olson says:

    Cut off food and water until THEY clean up the mess, problem solved.

  6. John Ruppe says:

    What do you mean negotiations? NEVER let the animals out of their cages !!!

  7. Emm Are Kay says:

    How did this happen if the inmates are breaking rocks all day? Oh yea…they watch porn, smoke drugs, drink alcohol…what possible could go wrong?

  8. I’ve seen more damage after a frat party

  9. Saw this on Drudge. Left for http://www.PressCalifornia.com for more independent California news.

  10. Vox Veritas says:

    Let them eat soap!

  11. Zardoz Wiz says:

    inmates dont like jail. who knew? next they aint gonna like the food. lets hold onto the food until they clean up. then get them something to do like chain gang

  12. Blocked access you say? Guess we can’t provide them with food or water!

  13. Donald Field says:

    Why worry with it? Just tell them when they get hungry, clean the place up and get back in there cell.

  14. Wayne Wonder says:

    masked?? .. these are not bright people if they think hiding their faces while prisoners will keep them from having consequences ….

  15. I dunno. Call me old fashioned but you might consider behavior that won’t eventually have you living in a jail cell.

  16. Jerry Walton says:

    Turn off the heating and cooling. Shut off the water. Stop feeding them. Tell them they can get it all back when the mess is cleaned up.

  17. Since the taxpayers are picking up all the costs here, don’t they have a right to know what those prisoners’ names and nationalities are?

    Just asking.

  18. caffeineator says:

    Santa Cruz. I live five minutes from the heart of this commie town. Bums everywhere. Drugs everywhere. I can walk 12 steps from where I’m writing this, look across the street in this residential neighborhood, and see a “drug store” that sells kids drugs on the way to the Boardwalk. We call the police regularly, but they are hamstrung by the laws of California and the dopey city government that encourages bums and druggies. Walk down Pacific Avenue and listen to the wackos yelling at themselves or sleeping on the sidewalks. Sure the jail is “progressive”, which is another word for stupid. This town is a mess, but I’m stuck here.

  19. ernie4 says:

    enough is enough
    kill them all

  20. Time to move the inmates of that wing into a large tent in the yard surrounded with spools of concertina wire, complete with cots, porta potties, cold water and cold food. After a few weeks of this treatment lets see what happens. Any complains remind them this is the conditions members of the Armed Forces endure in the field.

  21. 30 years in Corrections at county level both pre-trial and sentenced. While this is not an everyday occurrence it is not unheard of to encounter this every couple of years. Its what criminals do. For the record, many time this was organized by white cons and not the sole area of Hispanic or Black gangs. Prisons maintain Tact teams and have mutual assistance pacts with other correctional facilities that drill monthly for these type of events.

  22. They should’ve gone in with nightsticks handing out free hickory shampoos, then taken the responsible inmates out, 2 at a time, to clean up the mess.

  23. They should toss these guys in jail….oh wait

  24. They should be made to live in the conditions they created. If they ruined their mattress and bedding let them sleep without bedding. Remove all health and comfort items from their cells. Let them eat MRE’s on the floor for a few weeks.

  25. Oh, they put in ear plugs! Must have been horrible!

  26. On average, 60% of inmates in the Santa Cruz County Jail are illegals from Mexico, central and south America.

  27. mclowe says:

    Wait… MASKS??? Idiots! They know who everyone in there is! They can probably identify them all just by seeing their bodies. Gimme a break. I guess it’s true what they say… criminals generally aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer. When I was in high school, I could literally identify every girl in the school by her hindquarters! 🙂 I’m sure the guards can identify every one of these offenders just by glancing at them out of the corner of their eye.

  28. Fire the warden.
    Time to mop that prison with every inmate’s face.
    Make them bleed!

  29. Next time use live rounds, problem solved

  30. Put Sheriff Joe in charge! Put em in tents in the middle of nowhere, feed em MREs, and work them the bone!

  31. Whatever happened to sentences that included hard labor? If we had those kinds of sentences today, maybe the prisoners would be too tired to act up too much.

  32. Tony Ascaso says:

    How many heads did they crack open! Shows how well compassion work with hardened criminals and sociopaths.

  33. iratenate says:

    That’s what they get for showing reruns of “Home Alone”…

  34. “We have a pretty progressive jail that meets with inmates and discusses problems and it’s easy for them to file grievances with things that are going on.”

    This guys statement pretty much sums up where the problem lies.

  35. Jason Watson says:

    They should have made them clean it up, no commissary until the block is spotless. Either that or take the cost of the cleanup and take it out of the inmates’ account.

  36. Shocked that Zach Friend didn’t run down there to rescue the poor misguided rascals.

  37. Jack Pod says:

    Fire the Sheriff and his cronies and get a new regime that knows how to manage a jail full of inmates.

  38. Will David says:

    make sure you add the costs of all these damages and time to their sentences. next time..no books.no sheets.solitary lockdown..

  39. Phil Davison says:

    The inmates are running everything in Californication it seems.

  40. Mike Arvand says:

    Another perfect example of why they should be in the ground instead of in jail. safer and cheaper that way.

  41. Mike Favetti says:

    Seriously, you call the booby traps listed as booby traps? They’re no more than childish pranks. Get in there with baseball bats and start swinging and quit coddling these prisoners. Use force and force them back into their cages where they belong. You don’t negotiate with prisoners and plead with them to follow the rules, they follow the rules or face the consequences and make the consequences severe enough that they will not be an option!

  42. Kerwin Hieb says:

    They’ll be punished harshly by getting a bone-in rib eye on Saturday instead of boneless. That’ll show them that the SCSD means business. Progressive Department… *spit*

  43. Hugh Tjardon says:

    But their imagination ends when it comes to seeking legal employment.

  44. Ed Cole says:

    “We have a pretty progressive jail that meets with inmates and discusses problems and it’s easy for them to file grievances with things that are going on.”
    – – – –
    Of course… Left Coast San Fran-sicko. Progressives running jails. They probably hand out free astroglide, and punish the convicts that complain about being forced to play “catcher” for being intolerant of alternative lifestyles.

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