Dylann Roof, the white supremacist charged in the racist massacre of nine black Christians at a Charleston church, was caught alone in the prison showers by a black inmate at the South Carolina jail where he is being held, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said.
According to reports, their exchange didn’t go very well for Roof.
Dwayne Stafford ran down the stairs from his cell after Roof went to the shower around 7:45 a.m. and beat him, seriously bruising Roof’s face and back, according to a police report.
The 22-year-old Roof was examined by jail medical personnel and returned to his cell at the Charleston County Detention Center, Sheriff’s Maj. Eric Watson told The Associated Press.
Although authorities initially said Stafford would be charged with assault, Cannon told reporters that Roof and his attorneys don’t want to press charges. The 26-year-old Stafford is awaiting trial on first-degree assault and strong-armed robbery charges.
Roof has been housed at the jail since being brought back from North Carolina a day after the June 17, 2015, slayings of nine parishioners during a Bible study at Emanuel AME Church. He faces the death penalty in upcoming trials in federal and state courts.
Officials are investigating how Stafford managed to get through a steel cell door with a narrow vertical window and down the stairs to reach Roof.
The two detention officers assigned to the unit are being interviewed and officials are also looking into the possibility the electronic door mechanism malfunctioned.
The area of the jail is for federal and high-security prisoners. It has two tiers of cells and the shower Roof was using was in the center on the ground floor. Cell doors can only be opened by officers sitting at a control console.
At the time, one of the two officers in the unit was taking toilet paper to another inmate while a second officer was taking a break, perhaps to go to the bathroom or to get something, the sheriff said.
“It seems to me pretty obvious at this point that at the very least we have complacency,” Cannon said. “We do things day-in and day-out and they become routine.”
It was the jail’s first incident with Roof, Cannon said, adding that he wasn’t sure how long the internal investigation would take.
The federal government has charged Roof with hate crimes and other offenses in the shootings. Prosecutors allege Roof talked of starting a race war and posed with the Confederate battle flag before the killings. His federal trial is set for November.
He also faces the death penalty in state court where he is charged with nine counts of murder in a trial set to begin next year.
The Associated Press contributed to this article
Marty Martin says
The entire News Media should be JAILED for their constant distortion and lying why supposedly reporting the News,
It is an absolute FACT the democrats and Rinos are afflicted with a mental disorder.
Justin W says
Dylan Roof is likely to spend the rest of his life wondering when he will be repaid for murdering nine people. The state may not give him the death penalty but an inmate may. This attack is probably a sign of things to come.
Arthur Hartsock says
Roof is fortunate that this attacker was not really skilled. A skilled hard-core con would have killed Roof. I’m sure there are bounties on Roof’s life right now. And he probably won’t survive very long, unless he receives assistance from Aryan Brotherhood gangs. Even with such assistance Roof’s life is probably very short.
Well worded Justine. A hate crime like this isn’t a good thing to be sitting around in jail/prison for. I’m a white man, and hate that this little clown hurt, and killed so many people just enjoying a worship service. I’m not sure where I’m at with the death penalty, but if it’s going to be given out, this would be a just cause for it. This clowns only claim to fame, is that he was born white. Trash…
Sometimes what goes around comes around. Guess he got part of his payback…..
Odd in a high security lock-up with two tiers an inmate can rush down stairs, and get through a steel cell door with a narrow vertical window while coincidentally both guards have stepped away. Hmmmmm. Very odd indeed.
Dr. Clifford N. Alford says
In an interesting side note, the pastor of that church was a rabid gun hater who got the area around his church declared a “no gun zone”. I wonder how safe he felt when he didn’t have one to defend himself and his friends with during attack? I’ll bet the irony of it all was a bitter pill even as he was dying.
Arthur Hartsock says
Mr. Roof is awaiting trial on a capital murder charge, and conviction could carry death penalty. He is supposed to be completely isolated from other prisoners-supposedly for their safety. I’m sure there was some shenanigans involved with the Black inmate being allowed to assault Roof. Well, he had his chance and only gave Roof a few hard ‘love taps.’ He should have killed him. Once Roof gets the death penalty he’ll be in a single cell, and no other inmate will have a chance to get him. Now we wait 10 years for the needle.