A shocking prison fight in Cushing was caught on camera and now the Oklahoma Department of Corrections is investigating.
An inmate recorded it on his cell phone. It shows a group of inmates hurl another inmate off a second floor balcony last Thursday. Part of the prison is on lockdown right now.
The video shows inmates surround a guy on the 2nd floor and then toss him over the railing backwards and head first. He landed hard and does not appear to move in the video.
“The other guys run over and they grab my friend, each grab a leg and just flip him over. He has no idea it's even coming,” said a woman who was on the phone with the inmate when he was jumped. “He just lands knocked out, on the floor, on the cold concrete, just laying [sic] there.”
This all happened in Cushing at the Cimarron Correctional Facility, which is privately owned by Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA, and contracts with the Department of Corrections.
“I'm on the phone with him and it just goes, like, just drops. I hear nothing except for a bunch of yelling,” the friend told News 9.
Last year, News 9 covered a deadly fight at the same prison that took four lives. After this latest fight, several people sent News 9 the video. Friends and family said it was shocking to see.
“I started bawling,” the friend said. “If you are not perfect, don't be judging these people.”
There is now a full investigation by DOC and CCA. The investigation could lead to charges.
DOC spokesperson Terri Watkins said the cell phone video is proof of one of the worst problems at prisons, which is contraband involving phones, drugs or weapons.
The DOC said two inmates went to the hospital after the fight, including the man thrown off the balcony. He had lacerations on the back of his head, but Watkins said the injuries happened just before he was tossed over. He and the other injured inmate are both back at the prison now.
CCA Director of Public Affairs Jonathan Burns released a statement:
“CCA is committed to maintaining a correctional environment that is safe and secure for inmates, our staff and the communities we serve. On March 10, there was an inmate-on-inmate incident that took place at the Cimarron Correctional Facility. Our staff quickly brought the situation under control. Two inmates were transported to local hospitals for treatment of non-life threatening injuries and subsequently returned to the facility. As is standard practice after any incident such as this, the involved housing unit has been placed on lockdown. CCA and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections are also investigating the incident accordingly.”