White County Authorities Report Weekend Jail Riot

February 19, 2004 - Posted at 7:28 a.m. CDT

SEARCY, AR - Romantic thoughts were apparently not on the minds of at least some inmates at the White County jail on Valentine's Day.

According to a report from the White County Sheriff's Department, an internal investigation shows that at least two inmates on Saturday night began to damage a surveillance camera inside the jail pod, eventually forcibly removing the device and destroying it.  Inmates also ripped a sink and shower unit out of a wall, causing an estimated $5,000 in damage.  When the sink and shower were ripped from the wall, jailers were forced to shut off the facility's main water valve in order to avoid potential flooding.

Although the incident remains under investigation, the Sheriff's Department believes the riot resulted from a temporary loss of smoking privileges for some inmates.  No officers or inmates were harmed in the incident.