19 Oct 08
Fighting to Survive (by Shane)
Shane - After being denied psychiatric medication by ValueOptions, Shane turned to illegal drugs he financed with burglaries. The medication in prison caused him to suffer a period of spontaneous ejaculations. Shane is the author of the blog Persevering Prison Pages.
Sometimes even the most nonviolent and levelheaded person has to fight in prison. A fight-or-die situation will inevitably arise if you spend any length of time locked up. Oftentimes it’s not even your fight but a fight caused by STG’s [Security Threat Groups such as the Aryan Brotherhood] and their politics forced upon you.
I’ve worked in the kitchen numerous times over the years. At one point, I was with 13 other convicts working to prepare dinner for a yard of 450. The racial make up of the crew was six vatos, two blacks and five white boys. The whites and Latinos got along good. The blacks and whites or blacks and Latinos, not so much.
Oscar was a Latino shotcaller on the yard for La Emme [the Mexican Mafia]. Tommy Guns and Knuckles were torpedoes for the Aryan Brotherhood. The rest of us weren’t in the mix on the yard and simply did our own thing.
“Listen up, woods. Watch your back today, the toads are plannin’ something today,” Knuckles whispered to each of the white boys as we entered the kitchen at the start of the shift. There had been racial tension between the blacks and whites on the yard because of Motown, a new black on the yard.
Apparently, Motown ripped off an Aryan Brother for a pound of crystal meth in a drug deal on the streets. Now, the Aryan Brotherhood wanted Motown off of the yard and definitely out of the kitchen. Yeah, Motown was one of the two blacks working that day.
A couple of hours later, while I was washing pots, I watched Motown talking with the other black convict, then they both walked over to the tilt grill and began tending to the slop cooking.
Keeping a cautious eye on them, I noticed Motown’ grip tighten around the heavy handle of the stainless steel paddle used for mixing as Tommy Guns and Knuckles walked in their vicinity and headed towards the guards control room.
Looking back down at the pot I was washing, I missed Oscar and another Latino inmate quickly approach the two black guys.
In an instant, Oscar threw a barrage of punches, hitting Motown in the face and head while the other tow squared off with each other.
Motown absorbed the punches, staggered to the left, released the mixing paddle and ran directly towards my work area. With Oscar in pursuit.
Pot in hand, I stood as Motown rapidly approached and wildly swung a punch at me, which missed me altogether. Running into me, he began to wrestle with me. Suddenly, I felt a fist land on my left ear, causing stars to explode in my vision. Then I felt the two of us falling to the kitchen floor.
For what seemed like a few minutes, I wrestled with Motown on the floor. I ended up on top of him, and to my surprise, Oscar too. Somehow, Oscar had ended up entwined with us.
Now completely disoriented as to what was happening, I began throwing hard punches downward at Motown, whom I knew had punched me. Occasionally, a stray punch hit Oscar.
Rolling away from them toward the pot I had dropped at the onslaught of this melee, I grabbed it, swung it once at Motown as they both got to their feet. I could see the other black guy trading wild punches with the other Latino over Oscar’s shoulder.
Lunging at me, Motown tried to reengage me, but I swung the pot again, narrowly missing the top of his head.
Seizing the opportunity, Oscar swung a brutal punch, which landed flush on Motown’s jaw. Down he went.
Oscar kicked him at least ten times before turning towards the other black guy and heading to join that fight.
Looking down, I saw blood pooling around Motown’s head and took a step back. I dropped the pot in the sink as the guards flooded into the kitchen and pepper-sprayed Oscar and the other two fighters, who wouldn’t quit when the guards ordered them to stop fighting. I surrendered.
A few minutes after the fight had been stopped and all the inmates were zip-tied, each of us was seen by a nurse. Only Oscar and Motown needed medical care. Both of them had cuts and bruises on their face and head.
It turned out that the Aryan Brotherhood had asked for La Emme’s help instead of doing their own dirty work.
Tommy Guns and Knuckles conveniently located themselves with the guard, while the rest of the crew was unattended. They had known something would go down, but rather than the two blacks being up to something that day, it was them.
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Copyright © 2008 Shaun P. Attwood