Hostage situation at Cook County Jail ends after police intervene, one injured

CHICAGO – Officials with the Sheriff's Department say two Cook County Jail inmates were able to take control of a housing tier with 16 other inmates, holding one hostage until police intervened.

The inmates were spending their recreation time in an open space in the middle of the unit when officials say two men covered the floor with soapy water to make it slippery, ripped down surveillance cameras, and took another inmate hostage, pointing some type of shank at his neck.

Jail officers retreated for their own safety and the Sheriff's Emergency Response Team and hostage negotiators responded.
When one of the inmates stabbed the hostage in the leg, police threw in a flashbang device and took back control of a very tense situation.

Police said the two inmates have violent criminal histories and are now facing additional charges. Their motive is unknown. The only injury was a minor one to the inmate who was taken hostage. No officers were hurt.

Sheriff's officials insist security and staffing is adequate but called this a "stunning example" of how difficult the job can be for officers.