ICE detainees refuse virus tests, damage detention center

Migrant Centers

(Graphic courtesy of MGN)

DARTMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — A group of about 10 federal immigration detainees who refused to be tested for the virus that causes COVID-19 caused extensive damage to the center in Dartmouth where they are being held, the sheriff’s office said in a Friday night news release.

The inmates involved in the incident at the C. Carlos Carreiro Immigration Detention Center reported multiple symptoms of COVID-19 and when told they had to be tested, they rushed officers.

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A news release from the Bristol County sheriff said the detainees barricaded themselves inside the facility, ripped washing machines and pipes off the wall, broke windows and “’trashed the entire unit.” A special response team restrained the detainees, the department said.

No staff injuries were reported. One detainee was hospitalized with “symptoms of a panic attack,” another was hospitalized due to a pre-existing condition and a third “for a medical incident after being removed from the ICE wing.” All three are expected “to be fine,” the sheriff’s department said.

Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said the detainees have been moved to single cells pending disciplinary action, COVID-19 testing and criminal charges.

Damage was estimated at $25,000.

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