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Room flooding brings riot charges
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Four inmates at the Rockdale County jail are being charged with starting a riot after reportedly flooding several cells.

On Dec.4 at 5 p.m., authorities responded to a fire alarm in dorm 5A. Moments later, another fire alarm was activated in a different part of the jail. At the same time, the cell of Johnny Harvey, 18, and Jerry Williams, 17, was reportedly flooded by their shower. The men responsible were moved to booking holding cells and other inmates were evacuated to the recreation yard while the sprinkler system was disabled.

Further investigation revealed two sprinkler heads had been tampered with, resulting in the triggered fire alarms. Michael Avery, 21, and Ronald Stephens, 20, reportedly damaged the sprinkler heads in their cells, causing them to activate.

The damaged sprinkler heads were replaced, as were the saturated beds for the affected cellblocks. Inmates’ waterlogged personal property was also removed for sanitary reasons.

Later in the evening, Avery reportedly attempted to destroy his cell’s new sprinkler head with a soaked bag of personal mail. Avery was placed back into a booking holding cell with handcuffs and leg shackles.

Avery and Stephens were charged with criminal damage to government property while all four inmates were charged with inciting a riot in a penal institution.