Six inmates at a jail in St. Louis are facing charges after allegedly holding a 73-year-old guard hostage and freeing other prisoners. The incident took place at the St. Louis Justice Center, where the guard was abducted and later rescued by a SWAT team. The motive behind the incident remains under investigation, with reports suggesting that one of the inmates had demanded pizza.
Charging documents released by the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office provide details of the incident. On August 22, around 6 a.m., two inmates named Eric Williams and Anthony Newberry, who were jailed on first-degree murder charges, were assisting the guard in delivering breakfast trays to other inmates. However, Williams allegedly attacked the guard, knocking him to the ground, and Newberry joined in the assault. The two men then dragged the guard to a shower area.
According to the charging documents, Newberry took the guard’s cell keys and proceeded to unlock all the cells in the pod, releasing numerous inmates. Paul Mondaine and Earnest Lyons then moved the guard to a table inside the pod, where he was handcuffed and had his legs shackled. In the meantime, Richard Bolden III, Newberry, and Cleveland Washington Jr. vandalized televisions, using the broken pieces along with broom and mop handles to fashion weapons.
The guard was held captive for approximately two hours until a SWAT team successfully freed him at around 8 a.m. local time. Interim Public Safety Director Chris Coyle stated that “less-than-lethal ammunition” was used to subdue the unruly prisoners, resulting in minor injuries to two of them inflicted by their fellow inmates during the hostage situation.
All six inmates involved in the incident now face charges. Williams, Newberry, Mondaine, Lyons, and Washington have each been charged with first-degree kidnapping. Bolden, along with Newberry and Washington, faces additional charges for damaging the jail. Williams and Newberry also face assault charges, while Mondaine is being charged with unlawful use of a weapon.