Indianapolis Star

Guards Attacked at Juvenile Facility

July 27, 2003
Associated Press

PENDLETON, Ind. -- Indiana State Police are investigating what sparked a melee at the Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility in which four inmates attacked six guards.

Pendleton spokesman Ron Dougherty said the two oldest of the four boys involved may be charged as adults in Thursday night's attack, which left one guard with cuts to the head.

State Police Detective Sgt. Clint Bundy said the fight began after John Sterling, a youth service officer, let a 17-year-old inmate out of his cell to sweep the floor.

As Sterling was returning the boy to his cell, he allowed another inmate, a 15-year-old, to leave his cell to begin mopping. At that point, police said both boys attacked the officer.

"They jumped him, and it turned into a wrestling match," said Bundy. "They took the keys away from him, and when he went to get help they began unlocking other cells."

Realizing what the boys were doing, Sterling tried to take control.

By that time, the two students had released two more inmates, 15 and 18.

All four inmates then attacked the officer, Bundy said.

"He had a laceration on the head, bruises, and small cuts on his face, shoulders and back," he said.

The melee at the center lasted 20 minutes, until officers from the Indiana State Police, Pendleton Police Department and Madison County Sheriff's Department responded.

Associated Press