BY KEN LITTLE
Flooding occurred in the Greene County Detention Center Tuesday night after an inmate broke a fire sprinkler head, prompting other inmates to do the same thing.
The result was five damaged sprinkler heads in three of the four jail "pods" housing inmates, along with about 100 damaged ceiling tiles and flooding in offices, the booking area and storage rooms downstairs.
Correction officers, sheriff's deputies and Greeneville police officers were called in to get the situation under control.
Some boxes of records were "wet and soaked" with water and will have to be dried out, Sheriff Steve Burns said.
Inmates remained in lockdown this morning as the jail cleanup continued.
The disturbance started when inmate Brian Arrowood knocked a fire sprinkler off its housing in a common inmate area surrounding cells in Pod A.
Arrowood required stitches after damaging the fire sprinkler, Burns said.
Arrowood, 25, was charged with destruction of county property. Arrowood is being held in the jail on a charge of aggravated burglary.
At 10:51 p.m. Tuesday, Arrowood "broke a sprinkler in A-Pod," a report by corrections Lt. Bobby Rutherford said.
Arrowood admitted to the action.
The report said his action caused a disturbance on the pod "and severe flooding," the report said.
Burns downplayed the incident. He said it's not uncommon for inmates to damage property in the jail, especially sprinklers.
"Sometimes when somebody knocks a sprinkler off in one pod, somebody (in another pod) hears about it and does it," Burns said.
"This incident is not unique. It's just something we deal with. Many times we've had to buy more ceiling tiles and put more sprinkler heads on."
Water ran down through the pod-level areas housing inmates to offices below.
In addition to records in boxes, a room where inmate property is stored also sustained some water damage, Burns said.
Floor tiles will likely start coming up in a few days when the water has undermined the tile glue, Burns said.
Replacing the tiles and sprinklers could cost well over $1,000, the sheriff said.
The inmate count this morning at the main jail building, excluding the county prison farm, was 266 inmates.
The jail's rated capacity is 158, but state officials recommend keeping the jail at 90 percent capacity, or 142, so violent inmates can be segregated from the general population.
"These things happen and certainly when your population is higher, you have more chance to do something in the pod area," Burns said.
But incidents like the one Tuesday night are not uncommon in most correctional facilities, the sheriff said.
"It would happen in a brand-new jail. That's just the way it is," Burns said.