ELKTON — Two inmates are facing assault charges after they allegedly fought each other inside their Cecil County Detention Center cell, prompting a jail sergeant to discharge pepper spray to end the altercation, according to court records.
Cecil County Sheriff’s Office Deputy A. Jackson charged each of the inmates — Jeremy Ryan Brooke-Thodos, 32; and Joshua Terry Owens, 34 — with second-degree assault and second-degree assault on a Department of Corrections employee and, or, inmate on Saturday, after completing his investigation, police reported.
A jail sergeant contacted Jackson by phone at approximately 5:40 a.m. on March 12 and reported that Brooke-Thodos and Owens had gotten into a fight inside booking cell B120 about 90 minutes earlier that morning, police said.
After the two inmates allegedly ignored the jail sergeant’s commands to stop fighting, police added, he squirted pepper spray in the direction of Brooke-Thodos and Owens.
Jackson reviewed surveillance camera video of the incident, which he received on Thursday, court records show.
The video starts with Brooke-Thodos and Owens lying on their cell mats, before Owens appears to begin “verbally harassing” Brooke-Thodos at approximately 4:21 a.m. on March 12, police reported.
“Owens then stood up from his cell mat and walked in front of Brooke-Thodos, who was lying on his cell mat. Owens raised his right leg and held his foot above Brooke-Thodos’ head. Owens then appeared to set his foot on Brooke-Thodos’ head. Brooke-Thodos then jumped up from the mat, pushing Owens’ leg away from him. Owens and Brooke-Thodos then become involved in a mutual physical altercation where each part struck the other multiple times in the head/upper body with closed fists, as well as shoving one another,” Jackson outlines in his written statement of probable cause after viewing the surveillance video.
The video then shows a jail sergeant opening the cell door at approximately 4:22 a.m. and discharging pepper spray at the inmates, before detention center staff members separated Brooke-Thodos and Owens, court records show.
Neither inmate suffered injuries; both were cleared by the detention center nursing staff, police reported.
Court records indicate that, at the time of the March 12 incident, Brooke-Thodos and Owens were pre-trial inmates who — both held without bond — were awaiting trials in their respective criminal cases. (As of Tuesday, they remained pre-trial inmates awaiting trial.)
In the case that put him behind bars as a pre-trial inmate, Brooke-Thodos is facing 12 charges, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a controlled and dangerous substance and loaded handgun on person, after his March 9 arrest near Elkton, court records show.
As for Owens, he became a CCDC pretrial inmate after he was arrested Feb. 20 on seven charges, including first-degree assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony or a crime of violence and reckless endangerment, according to court records.
Brooke-Thodos and Owens are scheduled for April 26 preliminary hearings relating to the assault charges filed against them after the March 12 incident in the jail, court records show.