Two incidents that resulted in injures to Bartholomew County Jail staff and flooding inside a cell block are being investigated.
Sheriff Matt Myers talked with the Bartholomew County commissioners and county council members Tuesday about the incidents, which happened on Labor Day. Myers said the incidents are being attributed to overcrowding at the jail and not having enough staff or operational space.
The incidents were first reported when Bartholomew County Jail Capt. Nicole Kinman was sent to the jail following a call on Monday that inmate Joe Reed had kicked out a section of his cell door. Reed was moved to another section of the jail, but then inmate Jordan Rhoades kicked out a section of his cell door, tore apart the bottom of the grated door and obtaining metal rods, deputies said.
Rhoades, who is awaiting sentencing later this month in Bartholomew Superior Court 1 for throwing chairs at Bartholomew County 2 court staff in a courtroom incident Feb. 9, is accused of taking the metal rods and throwing them at staff members, injuring three, before tasers were used to subdue him, deputies said.
Kinman was injured when one of the rods hit her in the abdomen, and she also suffered an abrasion to her lower left leg, deputies said. Sgt. Tim Burdine and Sgt. Kyle Weaver also received minor injuries, Myers said.
Reed and Rhoades were placed in confinement pending disciplinary review, Myers said.
Flooding was caused by inmates who blocked the bottom of their cell doors and allowed showers and toilets to overflow, Myers said. When the water went through the doors, it flooded several levels of the jail including the work release area.
“Jails across the state are bursting at the seams and BCJ is feeling the pinch causing tensions to mount,” Myers said. “We will maintain order, it is just more difficult with the increased number of inmates,” he said. “We are working with members of the county council to find ways that we can open up additional operational space.”
For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.