PATERSON, NJ – Six maximum custody inmates as Passaic County Jail face additional charges including Rioting, Arson, and Aggravated Assault after a Saturday incident.
According to Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik the incident began when the two inmates refused to lock their cells and an additional four also became “non-compliant” at approximately 5:00 p.m.
Despite efforts by jail staff, as well as Berdnik, to deescalate the situation, the men began to light small fires and interfere with jail operations. Shortly before 11:00 p.m. staff had to make “emergent entry using protective gear and using pepper spray, into the smoke filled housing unit and physically remove combative inmates.”
Berdik reported that there were no serious injuries and no significant damage to the facility.
“Though this was an unfortunate incident, at no point was the stability of the jail compromised,” Berdnik said, adding his thanks to members of Passaic County Sheriff’s Office that “showed true professionalism in the manner in which they were able to conclude this situation without any serious injury or damage to the facility.”
Members of the Paterson Fire Department were also on hand to lend assistance, Berdnik said.
Berdnik concluded that the inmates have been separated, and he is working with Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes and her office to bring the appropriate criminal charges against those involved.