More details have emerged regarding the fight last weekend at Orange County Juvenile Hall. Most significantly, the guard who was injured in the fight told the Orange County Register that she believes the fight was planned.
This is consistent with reports Voice of OC received over the weekend that a “riot” had taken place at the facility in Orange.
Voice of OC broke the story Tuesday and reported on conflicting accounts by Orange County Probation Department officials and the Orange County Employees Association.
Department spokesman Robert Rangel acknowledged that the incident was a “major disturbance” but said officers responded quickly and quelled the violence almost as soon as it began.
Orange County Employees Association spokeswoman Jennifer Muir disputed that the response went smoothly, as Rangel said, adding that it shows the department needs “more boots on the ground.”
Here is an excerpt from the Register’s story:
The fight began at about 8:20 p.m. Saturday. Some 30 youths were being held in a housing unit built for 20, Rangel said. Of those, 27 were in a common room where they can watch television.
Androus said she had turned away from the group to supervise bathroom visits when the fight, which she thinks was planned in advance, began.
“All 27 kids were up and throwing chairs, throwing fists, doing two-on-ones,” she said. In her nine years on the job, “this is the only time I ever witnessed every single minor on the floor up and swinging.”
Voice of OC filed a California Public Records Act request for the video of the incident. The Probation Department denied the request, saying we have to file a petition with the Orange County Juvenile Court for the video.
We have contacted Terry Francke, our open government consultant, about the issue, and you can trust that we will be following up.