Eight inmates hospitalized after Orlando-area prison fight


Ambulances are lined up as patients are unloaded at the emergency room at Leesburg Regional Medical Center in Leesburg, Fla, following a prison riot at nearby Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009. Eight male inmates were taken to a hospital after a "large-scale fight" Sunday at a federal prison northwest of Orlando, a spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons said.

Orlando Sentinel, Stephen M. Dowell/The AP
Published: Monday, January 26, 2009 at 12:54 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 26, 2009 at 12:54 p.m.

COLEMAN, Fla. Eight inmates had to have wounds treated at hospitals, including one who was shot, after a fracas erupted at a federal prison northwest of Orlando, officials said.

A "large-scale fight" broke out Sunday afternoon in the recreation yard serving a high-security building at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex, spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said.

No staff workers were seriously injured. The conditions of the inmates, all of them male, were not immediately available, Billingsley told The Associated Press.

Asked later Sunday about the injuries, she said "one is gunshot, but I don't know about the others." She said she had no further details about the fighting and how it began.

The Orlando Regional Medical Center confirmed Sunday that seven people were being treated there. It was unclear where the eighth inmate was taken. Hospital officials declined to identify them by name or give details of their conditions.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was notified after the incident, prison officials said in a news release.

The prison has four units that house low-, medium- and high-security inmates. Billingsley said the fight erupted in a yard at one of the two high-security units at the federal complex, which is located about 50 miles northwest of Orlando and 60 miles northeast of Tampa.

The official said one of Coleman's most prominent inmates, former newspaper baron Conrad Black, is housed in a low-security unit away from where Sunday's fighting broke out. Last year, Black reported to Coleman to begin a 6 1/2-year sentence after his conviction for fraud and obstruction of justice for swindling shareholders of the Hollinger International media empire.

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