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Drinking Security Guards Fight While Escorting Inmates

Sun., Dec. 28, 1997

One security guard pushed another out of a van Saturday as they fought while escorting nine prisoners from Memphis, Tenn., to Georgia.

The two guards, who work for a private company that transports convicts, were drinking in the van before they started fighting, police said.

The guards were jailed for drunken driving and making a false report that their prisoners had escaped, Sheriff Scott Chitwood said.

The driver, identified as William Rothchild Rogers, stopped the van during the argument and pushed the other guard out, the report said.

The other guard, Matthew Daniel Joyner, was picked up on the side of Interstate 75 and told authorities the prisoners had overpowered the guards and hijacked the van, taking one guard hostage.

When authorities found the van and stopped it, Rogers and the prisoners were taken into custody without incident.

The two guards, employees of Federal Extradition Transportation in Memphis, Tenn., were also charged with reckless conduct and furnishing prisoners with alcohol.

“(The prisoners) didn’t do anything wrong. They were on a trip. They were given a beverage and they partook,” Chitwood said.

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