The incidents started shortly after prisoner Nakia Huggins was questioned by guards concerning a knife that another prisoner told guards Huggins was intending to use to stab him with.
Huggins, who is serving two life sentences for murder, was sentenced to another 30 years, four years ago, for setting his mattress on fire while incarcerated at Everglades Correctional Institution.
Upon being confronted, Huggins assaulted one guard and began running when four guards isolated him between two fences. Seeing that running further was no longer an option, Huggins turned his aggression on the guards. Taking the knife in hand, he began frantically waving it at the guards. Close proximity, isolation, plus four on one, equaled little success for Huggins.
Huggins was then rushed from behind with one of the guards grabbing him. Huggins, attempting to wrestle lose, consequently stabbed the guard.
Meanwhile, additional guards were called to the recreation yard to quell the uprising by other prisoners. Once the guards reached the recreation field, some 200 prisoners begun attacking the guards, while still others begun shouting encouragement.
In all, it took over an hour to restore order.
After the incident, 52 prisoners were charged with offenses ranging from battery on a law enforcement officer to inciting a riot. Along with the prisoners being charged, a total of 102 prisoners were transferred to other prisons.
Immediately following the melee, which transpired on Monday, January 31, 2005, the prison was placed on lockdown, which was lifted two days later.
On the positive side, the situation was contained and didn't have the opportunity to spread to any other portions of the facility," Department of Corrections spokesman Sterling Ivey said.
Considering ACI holds approximately 1,300 prisoners, the containment was significant. For those involved, they have had a drastic change occur in their lifestyle, as most were sent to Florida's most egregious prison: Florida State Prison.
Sources: The New York Times, the Miami Herald, the Tallahassee Democrat.
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