Inmates rioted inside the Lincoln County Jail, trying to break out of their enclosed section early Monday.
Sheriff Charlie Dougherty said the riot involved 28 inmates, but only a handful caused most of the problem. The Lincoln County Jail staff had to call 911 for help in the middle of the night.
"It was almost like a live drill, but it was really live," said Sheriff Dougherty.
Inmates were bashing the glass inside a section of the jail just before 3 a.m. Over 30 officers swarmed the jail within a matter of minutes.
"Several agencies responded, you couldn't get a parking place within two blocks," said Sheriff Dougherty.
The sheriff said the riot is a first for his jail. During a shakedown, jail staff found homemade tattoo equipment in jail pod that holds Department of Corrections inmates. The staff confiscated the equipment and put the inmate who was hiding it in isolation. The other inmates got mad.
"'Hey they took our toys,' and they wanted to throw a fit for a minute," said the sheriff.
The inmates started yanking on a large, metal and broke it off, then used it on the glass. However, the glass is shatterproof and Dougherty said the inmates would not have made it far had they broken through it.
"They were breaking out of jail to get in jail because all they would have done was ended up in a hallway in front of the control room," he explained.
Dougherty said the inmates involved had nothing to lose.
He said the riot ringleader is heading to prison for homicide and the other inmates are awaiting prison sentencing.
"Were they trying to escape or were they just trying to create damage and cost us money, because that's really all they got accomplished," said Dougherty.
The total damage is $2,000.
The sheriff said he is proud of the response to handle the disturbance, from the jail staff, to the 911 dispatcher and the extra law enforcement who responded.
Dougherty said the jail procedures worked and the riot lasted 27 minutes.
He said the inmates did not resist and complied once law enforcement went inside that particular section of the jail.