The Morey Unit Hostage Incident

Topics: Penology, Prison, Security guard Pages: 5 (2021 words) Published: June 21, 2009
The Morey Unit Hostage Incident
The Morey Unit Hostage Incident
On January 18th 2004, Ricky Wassenaar and Steven J. Coy subdued two correctional officers in an attempt to escape, leading to the longest prison hostage situation in history. The men responsible for the 15 day standoff, Wassenaar and Coy seriously injured one guard, and Coy raped two of the females during the standoff. According to the David J. Cieslak’s article, both men had been in trouble with the law since they were teenagers, caused problems for correctional officers, including escape attempts while incarcerated throughout their lives. Ricky Wassenaar was serving 26 years and Steven Coy was serving a life sentence. Coy, a rapist with a history of violence and convictions for aggravated assault. Wassenaar has had aggravated assault convictions and had fired at police during a robbery attempt according to online sources (azcentral 2007). According to the National Institute of Corrections, at approximately 3:15 am Wassenaar entered the prison kitchen for kitchen duty with Coy following right behind him. Wassenaar possessed a shank and used to detain the correctional officer on kitchen duty. The National Institute of Corrections report continues explaining how he took the officers clothing and immobilized him with the handcuffs. Wassenaar’s co conspirator Coy was also armed with a shank and took the female civilian cook hostage tying her hands and feet together. Wassenaar advised the other inmates of his plans and they refused to join him. Upon their refusal he locked them in a dry storage area in the kitchen. As Wassenaar left to take over the tower, Coy raped the woman whom he had tied up earlier. Wassenaar was given access to enter the tower as he appeared to be a fellow correctional officer. The male and female correctional officers on duty in the tower were the only two present in the tower. The male officer realized Wassenaar was not a fellow officer but the realization came a little late. Wassenaar struck the male officer in the head with an object he had taken from the kitchen. As Wassenaar subdued the male and female officer, he forced his newly captivated hostages to tell him how to use each weapon in the tower (NIOC 2007). As Wassenaar was taking over the tower, Coy had taken another correctional officer hostage and slashing the officer’s face as the officer had warned two arriving officers of the situation. The two officers chased Coy as he headed toward the tower. Wassenaar dressed in correctional officers clothing began shooting at the officers. The officers were confused and retreated to safety. Coy joined Wassenaar in the tower. Shortly after arriving in the tower Coy raped the female correctional officer. Shortly after this incident snipers, hostage negotiators, and a SWAT team were at the scene (NIOC 2007). Negotiations began and food, cigarettes, bottled water and hygiene products were delivered in return for inmates turning in certain contraband. The trading of such items went on for days. The first hostage was released on January 24th. Wassenaar released the male correctional officer. The correctional officer was taken to the hospital where they operated on the fracture from the hit to the head. Negotiations continued with small items being traded as inmates began to turn in more contraband. February 1st the nightmare began to end as Wassenaar and Coy surrendered (NIOC 2007). Although no one died, two females were raped and two male correctional officers were injured. Survivors of rapes, violent acts, hostage situations, plane crashes, and other disastrous situations often suffer damage unseen by the majority of individuals. The survivors are left with feelings of anxiety, fear, distress and the long term affects which last years (Amazon 2007). In order to prevent future hostage situations in the Morey Unit or any other prison, The National Institute of Corrections came up with necessary changes and...

References: Azcentral.com Two Inmates had Little To Lose © 2007 Retrieved from
http://www.azcentral.com/specials/special21/articles/0202prison-captors02.html September 23rd 2007
National Institute of Corrections Retrieved from http://www.nicic.org/Library/019617 September 23rd 2007
Amazon 2007 Retrieved from
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