Riot at Butler County Jail reportedly over mashed potatoes
The scene in Butler County was tense for awhile this afternoon as emergency management crews came in from all over the county to assist with what was being considered a riot at the Butler County Jail - all because inmates were angry over Sunday's lunch, and were refusing to go back to their cells.
Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet says incidents like the one today at the Butler County Jail are common, but they rarely start over mashed potatoes.
"They did tip over a lot of tables, set off some fire extinguishers, tear up some security cameras just to retaliate that they didn't like the meal they were served today at lunch," Sheriff Herzet said.
According to Sheriff Herzet, reinforcements were called to the jail shortly after noon Sunday because around 50 inmates were refusing to go back to their cells.
Help came from all over the county as police, EMS, fire, SWAT, Kansas Department of Corrections officials and even a medical helicopter were on scene.
"We used one of our hostage negotiators to tell them that we were coming in, and I don't think they really wanted that." Herzet said. "We had a plan to go in and use gas if need be and we told them that and I don't think they wanted to face that situation."
By 4 o'clock, all the inmates were back in their cells. Sheriff Herzet says no one in the community was ever in danger, and no inmates or officers were injured in the riot, but there are some lessons to be learned from the incident.
"I see we need to make some changes in the pods," he said. "We need to secure some of the tables a little better. We'll brief on this, we'll learn from this, and we'll move forward."