Central Unit (Part 3 by Warrior)
Warrior - Serving fourteen years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Brought up by a family steeped in drug commerce. He writes some of the best prison-fight stories on the Internet.
Part 2 left off with Warrior arriving at a lockdown run in Central Unit and two inmates, Mike and Wilo, getting out of their cells to fight each other.
Mike dropped his head and tried to rush Wilo’s legs. Wilo pounded the back of Mike’s head repeatedly. Mike struggled like a fish on the deck of a boat trying to stay alive, yet knowing it was only a matter of time.
Focussed on the combat taking place, I hadn’t noticed the two officers until they passed my field of vision. They both strolled by nonchalant. Like seasoned inmates, they appraised the violence without expressing any emotion.
Both of them were tall, about 6’3” give or take an inch. One Hispanic, the other white. In addition to the traditional officer getup – uniform, shank-proof vests, protective eye goggles – each wore two holsters. One for a state-issued Taser. The other for a monstrous can of mace that resembled a fire extinguisher. The mace canisters were so heavy, the guards were straining to maintain a smooth stride.
“Break this shit up you two, or we’ll fuckin’ mace and tase your fuckin’ asses!” said the Hispanic C.O. annoyed.
The redneck C.O. stood by with a mouthful of tobacco cud, chewing like a bovine. He followed with a “Yeah,” which sounded more like a bellowed moo.
Wilo looked up at the two no more than ten feet away. His eyes were saying, Quit pestering me! I’m in the middle of something!
The C.O.’s released the snap holding the Tasers in place. Their other hands seized the canisters and began shaking the mace.
Capitalizing on the time he had left, Wilo struck Mike again. He then headed to his cell, stepped in, and the bars racked shut.
The inmates on his side of the race war applauded and commended his victory.
The two officers sandwiched Mike in order to pick him up by each arm. At first, Mike’s legs couldn’t bear his weight. He struggled like a baby taking his first steps. When he was finally cognizant of reality, his legs locked in place and he stood firm.
“Get the fuck off me!” he roared, jerking his arms from the possession of both officers.
“Do you need medical?” said the Hispanic C.O..
“Fuck you!” he shouted, and headed back to his cell.
The Hispanic C.O. glanced at the redneck, who in turn just chewed his cud and shook his head.
“At least we ain’t got no paperwork tuh do,” the redneck said.
Both strolled away as nonchalant as they’d come in.
Voices jumped out from the crowd.
“Mike, I’m gonna get atya!”
“Orale, Wilo. Te voy amandar un mensaje!” I’m going to send you a message.
I kept thinking I need to be brought up to speed on what’s going down.
Cowboy lunged to the bars with a “Hey!” mirror in hand.
On edge, I flinched back, but played it off as best as I could that he hadn’t caught me unaware. Being a prison vet, he saw through me and basked in his minute victory. His smirking eyes told me so.
“Homeland Security is back to yella…ur green…ur whatever fuckin’ color is at the bottom. Hell, Bush don’t even prawbly know!” Cowboy said excitedly. “Never a dull moment in this bitch, Warrior. Ha…ha…whew!”
“What the fuck was that about?” I asked.
Cowboy leered to the left and then the right, trying to discover who may be listening. In an attempt to lean in closer and be hush-hush, his mirror substituted the action as he pulled it in. “Since yer peeps ain’t been able to get witcha, I’ll tell ya. Ya see, we on the same team, yer peeps and mines. Ya familiar with the race war right?”
Since the mid 90’s there’d been an ongoing war within the Hispanic race. Some considered themselves Mexican nationals or paisas. Others considered themselves Chicanos, raised in the States. Paisas looked at Chicanos as sell outs for embracing a U.S. mentality. Chicanos looked at paisas as sell outs for maintaining Catholicism and a partial European mindset. Chicanos in Arizona embrace and pursue their Aztec and Mayan roots, denouncing anything that isn’t Central American Indian. Ideologies weren’t the sole reason for the war, but made good propaganda for recruitment purposes. Drug and yard control, along with the money-making hustles were the real reasons.
“Well, we’re backing your people [Chicanos] up these days. The fellas [Aryan Brotherhood] and yer carnarles [La eMe/Mexican Mafia] decided to join sides to get rid of all of the paisas.” Given my light skin and no trace of a Spanish accent, Cowboy had assumed I rolled with the Chicanos.
I was torn, given that I was born in Mexico, raised in the States, and half white. But I knew I would eventually be forced to choose a side.
At this time, there were still a few of us able to maintain a sense of independence from it all. But we were dwindling fast. With the new pact with the Aryan Brotherhood, it would be just a matter of time before the masses questioned independent status as friend or foe. No in between allowed. Choose a side or else.
Cowboy continued, “Word hasn’t trickled down to the yards yet. Yuh know we hear it here first. So we at war with them, brother.”
“I’m rollin’ independent. I don’t believe in what’s going down right now.”
“I hear ya.” Cowboy shrugged. “It’s only a matter of time before yer people expect ya to pick a side to stand on. Independent status don’t exist no more really. In fact, the heads of yer peeps and mine are talkin’ ‘bout not recognizin’ independent status in the system. Them paisas is rollin’ with the Border Brothers [Mexican nationals’ prison gang]. They don’t give a shit ‘bout independents either. They stickin’ all of us. If I wur you, I’d pick a side. Before ya know it, yull be a man without a country. And that ain’t no place tuh be.” What Cowboy said was true.
“I hear ya, but I’ll take my chances. It’s carried me this far.”
Cowboy nodded his head with respect and approval.
“So what’s the deal with these cells opening?” I asked.
“Ah…that’s the fun part. Ya see, this here is gladiator school, and when the cell opens class is in session. These cops think it’s funny to open two cells at once. They get a kick out of it. Remember them cops stagin’ them human cock fights in Cali? Same shit. They bet and get a kick outta it. If they really don’t like ya, watch out. Ya might end up with two against ya. The rules is no sleepin’ durin’ the day ‘cause ya never know when it’s yer cell they gonna open. Stay a good distance from other cells where the enemy is at. They’ll try to cut or burn ya. By yer name, I’m guessin’ ya can chuck ‘em, and ya look like yer healthy and work out. So the rest…just be on point at all times. Or yull be like Mikey there.” Cowboy glanced at Mike who had washed up and was doing pushups. “Ya shoulda been doin’ that from the gate ya fat fuck!”
Mike pretended not to hear Cowboy and continued with his pushups.
Click here to read Central Unit Part 1, including a description of the cell just added on 1st June 09.
Click here to read Central Unit Part 2.
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Shaun P. Attwood