|Rock County Jail inmates charged with hate crimes in beatings|
|By Janesville Gazette|
Four black men accused of repeatedly assaulting three white inmates in the Rock County (Wis.) Jail were arrested Sunday on charges of battery by an inmate as a hate crime.
The victims were dragged in jail cells and held while they were hit with fists and shower shoes, said Barbara Barrington-Tillman, commander of the Rock County Jail.
"Comments were made by the suspects that they were doing this to white guys and white guys were responsible for them being in jail," Barrington-Tillman said.
Arrested at about 10:50 p.m. Sunday were Urundi M. Allen, 23, of 506 S. Jackson St., Janesville; Deonate L. Williams, 22, of 1333 Dewey Ave., Beloit; Stanley L. Thornton, 20, of 1966 Colony Court, Beloit, and James H. Boyd, 32, of 2601 Colley Road, Beloit.
All the assaults happened in section A2, the top-security section at the jail.
"These are the inmates who pose the most significant risk to staff and other inmates," Barrington-Tillman said. "They have more restrictions on their privileges. Some are single celled as opposed to double celled."
Allen, for example, pleaded guilty June 6 in a 2004 Janesville murder and is waiting to be sentenced.
The three white inmates were assaulted over a period of days, and were bruised on their legs and torsos, Barrington-Tillman said.
"The injuries were not clearly evident to correctional officers on duty," Barrington-Tillman said. "Once we were made aware by one of the victims that this was going on, we took immediate action to move the inmates and conduct a thorough investigation that resulted in these charges."
The four suspects have been locked down, meaning they will be locked in their cells 23 hours a day.
Barrington-Tillman said it's not clear if jail crowding contributed to the incidents.
"Anytime you have so many demands placed on correctional staff, it takes their attention away from inmate supervision duties," she said. "We make hourly-at least-security checks in the housing units, but sight lines are very limited and there are opportunities, unfortunately, where something like this could occur."
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