A terrifying video has emerged on social media this week, showing a prisoner serving a life sentence taking a hostage in the jail library.
Timothy Monk, who is doing a 97-year-long stint at the Lewis prison near Buckeye, Arizona, held a prison librarian hostage for several hours inside the law library before wardens were able to defuse the tense situation, which occurred on December 26.
Monk was wielding a homemade weapon fashioned out of smuggled contraband at the time of the incident. He took the blade-like weapon out of his shoe and wrestled the librarian to the ground, taking him hostage “in an apparent demand to leave the complex,” per Fox News.
Shortly after, a tactical team arrived to negotiate with Monk. A two-hour-long standoff ensued, which was all recorded on CCTV cameras.
In the video, Monk can be heard shouting to a guard: "I told 'em you f*ck with me, I'm going to show you how bad I am ... Why do I gotta do this?"
However, not long after this exchange, Hartzell was able to pepper spray Monk in the eyes after he was distracted by the tactical team. The team then stormed the room and subdued Monk, employing a stun grenade, pepper balls and bean bags to apprehend him.
Social media users have reacted with shock and horror to the footage. On YouTube, one person commented "I’m so glad the librarian is ok. I think the pepper spray saved him along with the officers [sic]" while another person added "This prisoner clearly had some sort of respect by the officers since they let him in un-cuffed and in a room with a worker. Why would he just throw away that privilege?"
Another Youtuber chimed in saying: "It was clear the prisoner did not want to really kill the librarian. He had time and opportunity to do so from when the cops moved on him. [sic]"
This is not the first time that Monk has made an escape attempt, taken a hostage, or committed a serious felony while already behind bars. He was convicted of aggravated assault, kidnapping a female prison guard, promoting prison contraband and sexual assault while incarcerated in Tucson back in 2006.
He was transferred to a prison in Montana after, and then sentenced to another 28 years in jail, before being taken back to the Florence prison in Arizona.
Monk was originally incarcerated at the age of 16 for armed robbery, sexual assault and kidnapping back in 1988. He will go to trial for this hostage-taking incident, and it is likely that his already-long prison sentence will be extended even further. Despite how distressing the incident was, no-one was badly injured in this encounter.