Local inmate charged with battery

Man accused of breaking cell door, throwing metal rods at 3 deputies in jail ruckus

A Bartholomew County Jail inmate faces additional charges after being accused of tearing apart a section of his cell door and using metal rods from it as a weapon against sheriff’s deputies.

Jordan Rhoades, 21, of 465 Clifty Drive, was charged Friday in Bartholomew Superior Court 1 with three counts of felony battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer and one count of misdemeanor criminal mischief, court records state.

Rhoades is accused of taking the metal rods from the cell door and throwing them at three Bartholomew County Jail deputies in a Labor Day incident at the jail. The charges also accuse him of intentionally damaging jail property, court records state.

Deputies used a stun gun to subdue Rhoades, court documents state.

The jail deputies involved in the incidents had scrapes and scratches and bruises from being hit with the metal rods, court documents state.

The incident occurred Monday after another inmate, Joe Reed, 37, of 1422 Seventh St., was accused of kicking out a section of his cell door.

When Reed and Rhoades were moved to a separate confinement area, other inmates blocked the bottom of their cell doors and allowed showers and toilets to overflow, flooding several areas in the jail, deputies said.

Damage to the cell doors has been estimated at $8,000, but no damage estimate has been made on the flooding.

Rhoades, who has been in the Bartholomew County Jail since early this year, is awaiting sentencing Sept. 20 in Bartholomew Superior Court 1 after pleading guilty in July to a charge of felony battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer. He remains incarcerated at the jail, deputies said.

As part of a plea bargain agreement in that case, prosecutors agreed to drop two other pending felony charges, attempted battery against a public safety official and an offense against a computer user.

The charges are from incidents that occurred Feb. 9 in Bartholomew Superior 1 Judge Kathleen “Kitty” Tighe Coriden’s court, after she had sentenced Rhoades to a year in jail for probation violations. When Rhoades uttered a vulgarity loud enough for the judge to hear, she sentenced him to an additional 90 days for contempt of court, court records state.

Security surveillance video showed that Rhoades then began picking up chairs and hurling them at the front of the courtroom, hitting deputy prosecutor Jeremy Fisk on the leg, slightly injuring him.

The video shows Rhoades throwing a chair toward Coriden and the court staff, who left through a door behind the bench, followed by several more that damaged courtroom computer equipment. Rhoades then left, but was apprehended by Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputy Jonathan Allen as he attempted to leave the Bartholomew County Courthouse.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.