Statistics for 1998
In 1984, the TDC recorded 1,678 attacks on guards by inmates. For the first three months of 1985, the TDC has recorded 948 attacks on guards. More than 100 inmates have been stabbed by fellow prisoners, and 12 have been stabbed to death. At the time the prison population was about 37,000 offenders with 6,900 correction officers. (Houston Chronicle)
December 13, 1998, Abilene. . . Robertson Unit
A female corrections officer is dragged into a cell and allegedly raped in an Abilene prison. The hyper, demanding inmate kept other officers at bay by threatening her life with a makeshift, 8-inch knife and a homemade noose around her neck before surrendering after a two-hour standoff. According to a 11-page report, the inmate stuffed trash into his cell door's lock and looped a shoestring over its hook-like bolt, preventing the mechanism from dropping securely into place. A red warning light flashed in a central command center as the door opened, but he was still able to snatch the officer as she conducted a routine body count. He raped the guard while negotiating with prison officials for his surrender. Responding officers found the inmate controlling the guard with a homemade noose looped around her neck and an 8-inch blade he had fashioned from a discarded three-ring hole puncher. (Abilene Reporter-News)
Nov. 26, 1998, Huntsville. . . Ellis Unit
A death row inmate makes the first escape from Texas' death row since a member of the Bonnie & Clyde gang broke out in 1934. Six other death row inmates fell to the ground and surrendered when a guard spotted them jumping from a roof inside the prison complex and fired 18 to 20 shots, but one inmate cleared two razor-wire-topped perimeter fences and avoided bullets to escape. Prison officials say they believe the inmate and the six others stuffed pillows and blankets in their beds ahead of time to make it appear they were in their cells, then hid somewhere inside the prison after their outside recreation period ended about 8:45 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. After an extensive and lengthy search, the escapee was found dead Dec. 3rd in a nearby river. Autopsy reports indicate he drowned. (Abilene Reporter-News)
Aug. 7, 1998, Huntsville. . . Holliday Unit
A Huntsville prison guard is held hostage for an hour by an inmate with a smuggled handgun. During the altercation, the inmate kicked another guard, giving him a black eye. The gun was a small, two-chamber derringer-style pistol. Both chambers were loaded. The Holliday unit is locked down for the weekend following the incident. (Abilene Reporter-News)(Corpus Christi Caller)
Aug. 8, 1998, Centerville
A prison guard was killed and 16 inmates were transported to East Texas hospitals Friday after a prison bus careened out of control, turned over and skidded off a two-lane road. The bus was traveling from the Hughes Unit at Gatesville to Huntsville when it crashed at 9:55 a.m. The bus clipped a utility pole and was resting on its left side when sheriff's deputies and troopers arrived at the scene. (Abilene Reporter-News)
June 28, 1998, Huntsville. . . Wynne Unit
Convicted killer Robert James Hudspeth Jr., 47, snuck away from his post as a trusty at Huntsville Municipal Airport and stole a car. He was found to have committed suicide several days later in Llano State Park. (The Huntsville Item)
Mar. 5, 1998, Abilene. . . Middleton Unit
Correctional officer was assaulted while conducting a dayroom security check when one of the inmates became angry and attacked him. Another inmate joined in the attack, with a third also possibly involved. Responding immediately, nearby officers quickly quelled the assault with tear gas. The CO received stitches for a cut on the back of his head. He returned to work later that night. (Abilene Reporter-News)
Feb. 3, 1998, Abilene
A Garza County inmate who escaped while on his way back to prison fatally shot himself in a plowed field. He was roughly 15 miles short of delivery to the Middleton prison unit near Hamby when he bolted. With a hidden .22 caliber handgun, the inmate hijacked a Garza County squad car after ordering the deputy and his wife out of the car. He later abandoned the car. After being surrounded by authorities, the inmate killed himself the deputy's service revolver. (Abilene Reporter-News)
Feb. 1998, East Texas
A prisoner holds four hostages after he overpowers a deputy in East Texas on the way back from a dental appointment. He is later caught in Dallas after chaining two deputies to a fence. (Abilene Reporter-News)
Jan. 30, 1998, Amarillo... Neal Unit
Two convicted robbers who escaped from the Neal Prison Unit held a woman hostage Thursday at her home before surrendering peacefully to Amarillo police. The two men left the breakfast area and went to the back of the unit where they forced open a maintenance gate and escaped over a fence. (Abilene Reporter-News

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