For months, NBC 6 has shown incidents of fighting and other incidents at jail facilities in Miami-Dade County, but new video for the first time shows the level of violence that can happen even at juvenile facilities.
The fight happened just over a week ago inside an open bay area at the TGK complex. Inmates are seen swinging fists, picking up chairs and throwing them and only one female guard in with an estimated 20 teenage documents.
The guard’s report, obtained exclusively by NBC 6, indicates she tried to use pepper spray to stop the first fight, but it didn’t work and the situation quickly deteriorated. One inmate was seen with a makeshift weapon and hit another juvenile with it. Another inmate was caught on the video punching a corrections officer in the stomach as officers responded to the scene.
“First of all, one person is not enough,” said Armando Quinoa. “You need more than one person.”
Quinoa was a top level supervisor with 30 years of experience at Miami-Dade Corrections. He’s now the executive director of the association representing Latin correctional officers.
“Juveniles, in itself, you look at the records of incidences, are the ones who create most incidences, most fights than any other group, so you have to have more staffing” Quinoa said after watching the video. “You start cutting staffing, you really open yourself up to these kind of incidences.”
Last month, Team 6 Investigators exclusively spoke with a female guard who said she was sexually assaulted. She said video showed inmates rushing from an area where she was attacked when a cell door that should have been closed was opened. She said police were not contacted for 73 days.
In the latest video, guards were seen responding and gaining control of the area. Documents showed that none of the inmates in the altercation was seriously injured and they were placed in an administrative confinement to keep them away from other youngsters.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said Miami-Dade Police are investigating the sexual assault and said one inmate was arrested.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s office issued a statement to NBC 6 standing behind the corrections department. The statement read:
“Ms. Marydell Guevara is a seasoned and highly qualified veteran of the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department where she has provided over three decades of public service. Ms. Guevara literally rose through the ranks at the Department, and for over 24 years has held several management-level positions starting as a Correctional Sergeant all the way to her appointment as Deputy Director in 2004. I am confident that her experience and knowledge of the Department combined with her dedication to service will serve her well in her new role as Director, ensuring that the residents of Miami-Dade County continue to live in a safe community.”