More than two dozen inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola refused to go to work on the farm Tuesday morning after two inmates ignored orders and attacked two prison guards, according to a press release from Department of Corrections spokesman Ken Pastorick.
As the inmates were lining up around 8 a.m. to go to work, 51-year-old Emanuel Williams and 44-year-old Earl Harris broke out of the security line and punched the officers in the face and head, Pastorick said. The two officers received minor injuries.
A third offender, 40-year-old Roy Walker, then lay down on the ground and also refused to go to work before 27 other inmates also refused to obey the officers' orders, according to the report. Pastorick said he did not know what prompted the inmates to stop working.
Pastorick said it took officers only a few minutes to get the situation under control. Prison officials are continuing to investigate the incident.
Officers put Williams, Harris and Walker in disciplinary segregation after the incident. The other 27 inmates were initially brought back to the main prison cell block, but returned to work Tuesday afternoon, Pastorick said.
Pastorick said he expects Harris and Walker to face charges over the situation. Williams broke his ankle during a scuffle with guards, who were trying to restrain him. All three have a history of misconduct behind bars, according to Pastorick's press release.
Williams, who has been at Angola for 27 year, has 291 disciplinary reports, including defiance, aggravated disobedience, threatening security and a contraband violation, Pastorick said. Williams also hit a female officer in the face in June of 2015. He is serving 55 years for a 1991 armed robbery in Orleans Parish.
Since Harris's arrival at the prison in December of 2016, officers have written him up four times. He was also written up for battery, threatening a deputy and refusing to obey orders at another prison before he came to Angola. Harris is serving a life sentence without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence for a fourth-offense aggravated second-degree battery in Jefferson Parish.
Walker, who has been at Angola since 2000, has been written up 54 times. He is serving a 50-year sentence for conspiracy to commit armed robbery and attempted manslaughter in Jefferson Parish, Pastorick said.
This is the second incident with inmates working at the farm at Angola within a week. On May 2, inmate Kristopher Schoeing tried to run away from guards while he was working in a farm line, according to a previous Department of Corrections press release. A guard fired two warning shots before other guards tackled and restrained Schoeing, who was taken to a treatment center for medical and mental health evaluations.
Pastorick said Tuesday he does not believe there is a connection between the two incidents.