The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office drew warrants on three inmates Tuesday night following a violent altercation between detention officers and inmates at the Iredell County jail, authorities said.
Sheriff Darren Campbell said the clash involved about five or six inmates and that additional charges are expected. Deputies were working to review video footage of the incident to determine who was involved.
Campbell said that around 7:45 p.m. one inmate, Martevis Jashawn Simpson, 23, became aggressive with an officer while being escorted from a visitation area back to a holding pod. The pod housed around 25 to 30 inmates.
While the officer took off Simpson’s handcuffs, Simpson attacked the officer with the handcuffs, causing cuts and other injuries, the sheriff’s office said in a press release on Wednesday.
The officer called for assistance and Simpson, who was originally arrested last month in connection to the shooting death of D.J. Turner, was subdued and cuffed again.
But other inmates in the pod began “becoming loud, hitting the glass in the door, and causing disturbances,” according to the release. Simpson also continued to be rowdy, officials say, and many of the inmates put on makeshift masks to counteract pepper spray.
The jail was placed in lockdown. Inmate visitation, which was underway, was canceled. Surrounding law enforcement agencies including the Statesville and Troutman police departments and the N.C. Highway Patrol, responded to the scene.
Over the next 10 minutes or so, officers tried to calm and detain the agitators in the housing pod, Campbell said.
Shyheim Fitzhugh Millsaps, 25, was one of the inmates who attacked officers, the release said. Another inmate, Rick Rashond Chambers, 26, attacked officers from behind.
Officers ended the conflict with pepper spray. Campbell said officers never lost control of the pod area and that no inmates breached the pod.
Four detention officers were injured. One was transported to Iredell Memorial Hospital and released for more serious injuries. The name of that officer was not released.
Millsaps was treated at a hospital for exposure to pepper spray and released.
It’s unclear if the inmates were working together and plotted the incident or not, the sheriff’s office said.
"The people who work here did exactly what they were supposed to," Campbell said. "It could have been a lot worse."
Chambers will be charged with two counts of felony assault on a detention employee, felony inciting to riot, failure to disperse on command and disorderly conduct.
Millsaps is facing counts of felony assault on a detention employee, felony inciting to riot, failure to disperse on command and disorderly conduct.
Simpson will be charged with with felony assault with a deadly weapon on a government official.
Bond amounts were not available.
Three weeks ago a similar incident occurred at the detention center, officials said.
In that incident, four inmates were arrested, including two who were in jail on murder charges. The inmates were also housed in a large holding pod and started a fight with officers, officials said.
Campbell believes that his office will be able to prevent these types of incidents when the Iredell County Detention Center expansion is completed next year.