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Fife jail flooded again after ‘bored’ inmate allegedly busts sprinkler head

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on March 5, 2013 at 11:00 am |
March 5, 2013 1:58 pm

For the second time in three weeks, an inmate at the Fife jail is accused of flooding the facility by tampering with a sprinkler head.

The latest incident occurred Sunday, authorities said.

Corrections officers were alerted to trouble by a blaring fire alarm. They went to Cell 259 where they found water gushing from a sprinkler head. One corrections officer and several inmates tried to stop the flow of water, but firefighters and a city public works worker ultimately were called in, court records state.

“It took multiple people approximately one hour to clean up the water,” court records show. “During this process the jail operation was hindered as jail personnel were unable to carry out normal operations.”

An investigation found that a single inmate was in Cell 259 at the time of the flood. The 20-year-old man at first said the sprinkler “blew up” on its own and began spraying water, court records show. He later said he “touched the sprinkler head” before it started spraying because he was bored, the records show.

He’s been charged with first-degree malicious mischief, a felony. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf Monday. Superior Court Judge Bryan Chushcoff ordered him held in the Pierce County Jail in lieu of $15,000.

Last month, a 24-year-old inmate allegedly pulled a similar stunt. Repairing the resulting damage and cleaning up the water in that case cost the city about $2,500, officials said. That inmate, too, was charged with malicious mischief.

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