So I stayed in the roach motel that is The Gary P.D. For two days I think. And was transported to Lake County Jail in Crown Point Indiana on a Sunday. It was freezing outside, and in the transport van too. That was a long ride, blistering cold stainless steel benches in the back, ice cold steel shackles, us offenders smashed together like cattle for slaughter in the back, day two dope sick, and fear. I just wanted this van to get there, but I also wanted it to take its time. I knew what waited for me, stop 2 of 4 on my journey. Lake County Jail, felony division. Now, I’ve heard many people who’ve been to lake county say they have never really had any issues or witnessed anything crazy. “I would rather be in lake county than Cook County.” I’ve heard them say. As for myself, I would rather be in Cook County. Lake County Jail is not a nice place for anyone. Let alone a strung out white boy. Now, although I’ve never had any personal beefs in LCJ, I have seen and heard of some crazy shit happen. For me, Cook County was way more relaxed than the felony sections of lake county. Gary, Hammond, East Chicago, some rough areas, and this place houses all of the worst from the worst areas of our region. It is going down in lake county jail. Murder, rape, arson, federal gang leaders and their boys, all packed together in one very small area. And me. Oh my, the situations I have found myself in. I think the craziest thing I ever saw in Cook County was two dudes blowing each other. I was in divison 2, a rather tame division of the jail, for low level offenders; simple possession, dui, things like that. Well, I got up to use the restroom one night, and as I entered the open shower and toilet area, there it was, a sight one cannot unsee- a man on his knees blowing one of the dope dealers I was just playing spades with earlier. Well, this is awkward. I think I’ll be holding my piss tonight. “Sorry bout that fellas, excuse me for intruding.” “Oh, you good white boy, we almost done.” Without skipping a beat or missing a stroke, they continued in the most casual of manners. Holy shit. Now, this occurrence pales in comparison to what I witnessed, well, heard in lake county on my 11 day layover on my way to porter county. In jail, an inmate can order snacks and hygiene from the commissary menu provided by the jail. Honey buns, chips, etc… Food is currency. We trade, we buy haircuts with it, loan it for an up charge, and gamble with it. Our commissary is important to us, and if it is stolen, it is not a good thing for the person caught. I found out that this is particularly true in lake county jail.
So, after about 5 days of extreme dope sickness and laying around, I had to do something to take my mind off of things, so I decided to pick up a game of spades with the guys in the day room. They never really gave me much of a hard time, because I have always shown respect. Respect is key in jail and prison. And staying out of other people’s business. A few hands go by and we’re in the middle of a game, and a slight commotion breaks out in the back of the range, I was in 3-F, which had a long barred cat walk with various cell houses off to one side. I try my best to focus on the game and not be nosey, but my ears work. I heard something about this one guy stealing a honey bun from one of his house mates and buddies from his particular set. Some arguing went on for a minute, and the guy who ran this set of guys and the dorm as a whole got involved. There was some talk and it was decided that these two would be granted a “one on one” in the day room. “Hey white boy, might wanna get outta here man, shit fittin a go down.” I didn’t have to be told twice, I didn’t wanna get caught in the middle of all this shit. But I did kinda wanna watch. I knew my place was at the back of the throng, so I took it. And the fighting insued. Nothing crazy at first, a lot of dancing, neither of these guys possessed any real fighting skills, but each landed a few nice shots, and it was a typical mutual combat deal, until the one everyone wanted and thought should lose got the upper hand, and then roughly 15 guys rushed him. One at a time at first, and then collectively- shots to the face, kicks to the ribs, stomps to the head, they had him pinned down by the limbs while others absolutely stomped his guts out, I actually heard crunching of bone, his head flung back from a kick to the teeth, and tooth fragment and blood spewed. His head smacked the steel bench and split him all the way across his crown. Another guy reached through the bars to grab the mop, he detached the cleaning mop head and used the thick mop stick to brutalize the man on the ground. To his head, his face, and to his body, the floor was actually covered in blood. And so were the walls and the attackers themselves. I think it’s time for me to go…. As I took my place on my bunk and pretended to read, a panicked hush fell over the dorm. A few moments later I heard the victim screaming panicked pleas for mercy,” please man, please brother, don’t set me on fire man, my fault man, I’m sorrrrryyyyyyyy.” They had a lighter and were actually trying to set this guy on fire. For whatever reason, the lighting him on fire thing didn’t work out, thank God. But the did drag him to the door and pound on the window for the guards to come get him. As they all passed by him toward the cell houses, the inmates all took their turns stomping his head once more. The SORT team had to pull him out and take him to the infirmary. I would have never thought I would witness something like this in my life. Most expensive honey bun in history. It’s only been a few days, I can’t wait to see what else lies ahead of me on this go round. Holy shit…..