Teen inmate’s prank floods new county jail | PostIndependent.com

Teen inmate’s prank floods new county jail

A small flood was triggered at the Garfield County Jail last week after a 16-year-old inmate allegedly knocked off a sprinkler head in his cell.

The flood, which happened on the evening of Feb. 26, covered the floor of the teen’s third-floor cell with about two inches of water, then leaked into the office of Undersheriff Jim Sears before the sprinkler was shut off.

“It flooded the unit with a couple of inches and we had residual damage in the administrative (area),” Garfield County Sheriff Tom Dalessandri said.

The water ruined some ceiling tiles and soaked the carpet in Sears’ office.

The sprinkler heads in the new jail were required by building code, Dalessandri said, but some kind of a security cover might be installed over each sprinkler head.

“He was just being destructive and disruptive and looking for attention,” he said. “We’re looking for ways to keep them as tamper-proof as possible.”

Dalessandri also said he’s looking into installing a more sophisticated sprinkler system that would delay the water flow for a short period of time after the alarm is triggered.

The water ran for about 15 minutes before jail staff was able to shut it off and mop up the mess.

The juvenile’s name was not released, but Dalessandri said he was in jail on two charges of aggravated motor vehicle theft and is being held in isolation as an adult in the jail’s special needs unit.

He is now also charged with felony criminal mischief for the sprinkler incident.

“He’s been pretty disruptive. He was tampering with the TV and he damaged a button. There’s been a lot of complaints (about him),” Dalessandri said.

Disruptive acts like this are not uncommon in a jail setting, Dalessandri said, but each must be treated carefully.

“We have to be very careful; we don’t know if they’re trying to create a diversion.”

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