On the evening of July 28, 2014, beginning at approximately 6:45 p.m., tension arose among the inmates in the male unit of the Grant County Detention Facility. Some of the inmates from different pods within the male unit were behaving aggressively towards the officers and engaging in misconduct such as kicking the pod door, throwing flip flops at the pod windows in the direction of an officer, and banging on the pod windows.
The officers were quickly able to gain compliance by most of the inmates; however, eight inmates housed in the M-2 Pod of the male unit continued to act out by yelling, pulling their shirts over their faces, and threatening a "stand off" with the officers. The inmates were repeatedly ordered to cooperate with being handcuffed, and then to lie down on the floor, but continued to act out. Even after being warned that OC Gas (a/k/a pepper spray) would be deployed, some inmates still would not comply, and OC Gas was deployed in the pod. After all inmates complied with the directive to lie on the floor, they were handcuffed and escorted to the recreation yard for decontamination. All inmates who were exposed to the OC Gas were examined by Emergency Medical Services and Silver City Fire Department. There were no injuries to the inmates or the officers.
As a precautionary measure, detention officers contacted dispatch regarding the circumstances at the detention center, and the Grant County Sheriff's Office, Silver City Police Department, the New Mexico State Police, Bayard Police Department, Emergency Medical Services from Gila Regional Medical Center, and the Silver City Fire Department responded. During the course of the incident, the assisting law enforcement agencies secured the perimeter of the facility and also assisted with handcuffing the inmates and supervising the inmates after they were handcuffed.
Grant County commends its officers for handling the situation appropriately and professionally. We would also like to thank the cooperating agencies, who immediately responded to the incident and provided all necessary support. All involved did an excellent job, which we believe is why the situation did not get out of control and was addressed promptly.
The Detention Center is currently housing fifty-six inmates in the male unit and eleven inmates in the female unit. The male unit contains seven pods, and the M-2 Pod is general population.
The Grant County Interim Manager is Abigail Robinson. The Grant County Detention Center Administrator is Mike Carillo. The Deputy Administrator is Joseph Andazola.