22 inmates overpower Bulwer cops

2015-09-06 08:33
(File, News24)

(File, News24)

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THE alleged mastermind behind an attack on police at the Bulwer police station appeared in court yesterday after a tense confrontation with officers on Thursday night.

Police officers were overpowered on Thursday night by dozens of awaiting-trial prisoners who tried to escape the station’s holding cells.

According to Plessislaer police spokesperson Captain Musa Ntombela, a male and female officer at the KZN Midlands station went to the cells to conduct a routine count of the prisoners just after 6 pm on Thursday.

It is believed that the female constable entered the cell to conduct the count when she was attacked by a prisoner who assaulted her and took the cell keys away from her. The male officer, who was waiting outside the cell with his firearm, heard his colleague “screaming and crying” and rushed into the cell to rescue her.

The five prisoners in the cell allegedly attacked him and a scuffle ensued, during which the officer dropped his firearm. The prisoners took the firearm and cell keys and opened the second and third cell all with the same key.

The prisoners, whose numbers had swelled to 22 in total, locked themselves in the third cell and allegedly threatened the officers with the stolen firearm.

Pietermaritzburg Public Order Policing (POP) were called for assistance and, according to Ntombela, “negotiated” with the prisoners to release the stolen firearm and keys.

As the situation unfolded, loud bangs and shouting were heard by those nearby.

It is believed that police used stun grenades to get prisoners to surrender, but this could not be confirmed.

After continued “negotiations”, Ntombela said the prisoners gave up the weapon and the keys to POP members and were then returned to their holding cells.

According to Ntombela, nobody was injured during the ordeal.

Ntombela said the suspect who attacked the policewoman, and is believed to have been the mastermind of the incident, was thereafter charged with common robbery and appeared in the Hlanganani Magistrate’s Court in Bulwer yesterday

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  prison  |  court

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