Sheriff On Hostage Situation: ‘They Can Dream Up Anything’

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WARREN, Ohio — Trumbull County Sheriff Thomas Altiere held a press conference Thursday afternoon to address Wednesday’s hostage situation involving a corrections officer at the jail.

The officer was held hostage for five hours by three inmates before being released unharmed around 8:30 p.m. According to sheriff officials, the inmates used bed sheets to tie shut the door to their pod.

Altiere said the inmates used a “shank,” possibly made out of plastic spoons during the incident. Altiere said the inmates did not make serious demands; one they did make was for a cigarette. He said they were given three cigarettes.

One of the inmates involved was David Martin, who is facing capital murder charges. Authorities said the other two inmates involved were Richard Ware and Kevin Johns; Ware is in jail for aggravated robbery, Johns for rape.

The corrections officer did not suffer serious injuries in the ordeal.

Altiere said during the press conference that the pod in which the incident happened is considered a crime scene and is currently sealed off. BCI agents are expected to start their investigation on the incident Friday.

Altiere said in the meantime, the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office is advising the sheriff’s office on what actions to take with the inmates involved.

Altiere did say that jail officials had followed all required protocol prior to Wednesday’s incident.

He added that “when you are a corrections officer…there are risks you have to take,” and that situations like Wednesday’s can happen.

“[The inmates] are in here 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Altiere. “They can dream up anything.”

Altiere said officials are reviewing some surveillance video, but it cannot be released yet due to the pending investigation.

He said operations have returned to normal at the jail.

“It’s now like business as usual,” said Altiere.

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