MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 30 to 45 minute-long fight at the Shelby County Juvenile Detention Center last week resulted in five corrections officers being put on leave, and now a mother of one of the teenagers hurt in the fight wants answers.
The fight happened after a verbal argument among 14 children turned violent. Jennifer Jones said her son was attacked, and it's been hard to deal with his injuries. She's also concerned about how the fight was handled.
“They broke out of that room, and then they went into the other room and started jumping on the other kids," Jones said.
Her 15-year-old son told her a group of inmates overpowered a guard and broke out of their area, then they headed to where other teens were.
However, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office said no guard was overpowered.
“They already had caused havoc," Jones said. "They broke glass and stuff out, broke TVs, jumped on the guard.”
During the chaos, someone hit her son in the head with a pole, knocking him out.
Adding to her concern, the incident happened last Wednesday, but she did not hear about it until her son was able to call her the following Saturday.
“They didn’t call me or let me know anything of the incident," Jones said. "He told me that someone saw him, the nurse saw him there, gave him antibiotics and told him it was swollen due to the fact he got hit.”
Jones said she immediately went to visit. After talking to her son, she asked for a nurse to check him out again.
She later got a call from Le Bonheur Children's Hospital saying he was there and needed a procedure for a cracked jaw.
“He’s got screws and stuff in his mouth," Jones said. "He can’t eat.”
An SCSO spokesperson said due to HIPPA, they can't comment on the teen's injuries but can confirm the teen was seen by medical.
Jones said he is now isolated in the juvenile detention center, and no one will answer her questions.
An SCSO spokesperson said they can't discuss housing assignments of children for security and privacy reasons. However, he said the teen is not receiving any type of punitive housing.
“They just swept it under the rug like it was nothing, you know what I’m saying, these children are hurt and/or having to get medical treatment," Jones said.
County Sheriff Floyd Bonner said five corrections officers are on paid leave as they investigate what happened.
"Why did the incident last so long? What occurred? What sparked it? We're looking at the totality of the situation," Bonner said.
Part of the investigation will include the teen's mother not being immediately notified about his injuries nor the incident.
But Jones fears it could happen again and worries about the safety of her son and everyone else in the facility.
“It’s just a lot of things occurring that I’m not comfortable with," she said.
The sheriff’s office told WREG earlier this week that 11 juveniles had to be moved to 201 Poplar while repairs were made.