Dale County Jail Riot

By: Rayne McKenzie
By: Rayne McKenzie

Dale County sheriff's officials are working to recover from a late night riot in the jail.

The riot started about 9:40 Friday night, when two inmates overpowered a guard in an attempt to escape.

At 9:40 on Friday evening two inmates inside the Dale County Jail tried to escape.

Correction officers were in the process of locking down the jail when Katoni Tillis and Kent Stewart overpowered an officer.

Two other officers tried to subdue the inmates, but Tillis and Stewart used a shank and a piece of metal from a bed to continue their escape. It took almost an hour for officers to reestablish control of the jail.

Sheriff Wallie Olson with the Dale County Sheriff’s Department said, "We were able to establish our officers were out of harms way so we made entrance to recover the downed corrections officers."

Law enforcement officials were concerned a hostage situation might ensue, but because of quick response from several outside police and sheriff's departments, the riot was contained.

"Once everyone arrived on scene we gained control quickly with the help of a lot of other agencies,” Lieutenant Gary Johnson said.

Tillis and Stewart caused a lot of damage during their attempted escape, but were unable to enter the control tower to exit the main jail because it was locked.

After speaking with several inmates, Sheriff's Department officials are convinced the two inmates planned the escape.

"One [had] just been sentenced to [a] healthy sentence; the other life without [patrol] and they felt this was their only way out," Sheriff Olson aid.

Tillis and Stewart now face many possible additional charges including attempted murder after sending one correction officer to the intensive care unit and injuring two others.

Right now, most the Dale County inmates are being housed at nearby county jails until. The Dale County Jail is fully secured.

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  • by Melissa Location: Ozark on May 15, 2007 at 12:00 PM
    I think that they should do all the time that they get.You do the crime you should do the time. Both of them.
  • by David Location: Ozark on May 15, 2007 at 10:00 AM
    Alot of questions left unanswered. You should never lose control of that tower. Why did the officer in the tower not call for help. How did they get to him to beat him silly, He is in a locked room. There needs to be some changes made at that jail before someone gets killed. That almost happened this time
  • by Corrections Officer Location: Covington on May 14, 2007 at 04:17 PM
    The two who intitiated the riot were obviously already sentenced to time in State prison. With that amount of time to deal with, they should have been transferred to Department of Corrections ASAP. County jails are NOT equipped to handle inmates like this. The security level of the jail is not adequate and county corrections officers are not trained for it either. My understanding is that most of the staff of Dale County Jail has not even been sent to the two week course required for county corrections officers.
  • by Jimmy Location: Geneva on May 14, 2007 at 08:24 AM
    If they did not make it into the tower, why is the guy who was working in the tower still in ICU in Flowers hospital??
  • by BONNY Location: OZARK on May 13, 2007 at 11:09 PM
    I will be praying for the guards
  • by Renae Location: Houston on May 13, 2007 at 08:36 PM
    Questions to be asked:From witnesses, inmates are allowed to roam freely with the jail. Why? Why would you allow someone who has been convicted of a violent crime already to endanger the lives of others by allowing him to roam freely? Why were there only three jailers on duty, one of those being a rookie who had just started this job? Why did it take so long for the trustees to convince 911 to send help? They were calling for help from a locked cell where they had dragged the seriously injured jailer to try to protect him. Why is it being told by witnesses that one of the jailers actually handed his tazer to one of the inmates(and it was used on one of the jailers)? Why is it being told by witnesses that this same jailer is known by the department to be active in illegal activities within the jail? Too many questions that the citizens of Ozark and Dale County should have answered.
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