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Toilet Use Leads to Brawl at Pitchess

October 28, 1995

CASTAIC — A breach of bathroom etiquette is being blamed for a brawl at the Pitchess Detention Center that involved more than 100 inmates and landed eight in the sprawling jail's infirmary.

The fight broke out about 11 p.m. Thursday, when residents of the North Facility dorm split along racial lines over an inmate's use of a toilet, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Joe Hladky.

Five minutes later, the 102 prisoners were quieted after a deputy fired non-penetrating rounds from a rifle. Eight inmates were treated for injuries inflicted by jail-made knives, Deputy Diane Hecht said. At about 1:35 a.m., another brawl broke out, which was quelled in five minutes. Six inmates suffered minor injuries this time, Hecht said.

Hladky said the disagreement leading to the initial conflict was a novel one. "When you're in jail, little things mean a lot, I guess," he said.

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