According to Northward officials, a security device contained within the van caused the doors to be locked when the vehicle’s driver temporarily got out of the van. When that occurred, the eight prisoners were trapped inside the back area of the van with the keys locked inside as well.
Prison officials said it took about 20 minutes to unlock the vehicle once they were notified of the situation, during which time one of the prisoners trapped inside collapsed.
Trying to inform security officials outside the locked van that one of the inmates had fallen, the remaining prisoners started banging on the cage inside the transport area of the van. That eventually caused one of the van’s back windows to break out, prison officials said.
In the end, a spare set of keys for the van was retrieved and the prisoners were taken back to Northward Friday evening. The man who collapsed was hospitalized Friday, treated and released within a few hours. Two other inmates who had ligature marks around their wrists caused by the handcuffs they were wearing in the back of the van when the struggle ensued were checked out at hospital Saturday morning.
Prison officials said Saturday that they were continuing to investigate the incident.