An inmate faces a new charge after a fight at the Van Buren County Detention Center.
About 11:40 p.m. Oct. 20, 2013, jailers heard yelling and looked at the monitor to see a fight in progress in the day room of the A pod, according to court documents.
When officers got to the room, they found inmate Stephen Smith striking Wayne Rooks Jr., the document states. After breaking up the altercation, it was discovered that Smith had a puncture would below his chin and another below his right ear.
Smith was taken to Ozark Health Medical Center to see to his wounds.
Jailers said the fight started in the cell that the two men share, which is out of view of the camera.
A third inmate, Daniel Ford, who was not involved in the fight, said in a statement that Rooks and Smith were yelling. Ford said Rooks hit Smith, then stabbed him in the neck, according to the document. The jailers came in at that time, Ford said.
Smith told sheriff’s investigators that he was upset and being loud after being denied permission by jailers to go out in the yard. Smith said Rooks started yelling at him and then hit him on the left side of the face. Smith said Rooks stabbed him with a pencil, according to the document.
Rooks told investigators that Smith was cussing and yelling and he told Smith to “grow up,” the document said. Rooks said Smith struck him first and that he was defending himself, the paperwork states. If Smith was stabbed with a pencil, it was an accident, Rooks told investigators. The pencils were taken away by jail staff after the incident, Rooks said.
The investigators found that Rooks did stab Smith with a pencil under the chin and in the neck just below his right ear with the purpose of causing injury, the document states. Rooks was charged with battery in the second degree, a Class D felony. Rooks already faces other charges and will be in Van Buren County Circuit Court on Dec. 19.