Crime — 04 April 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks
Piece of prisoner’s ear bitten off during fight on prison bus

Prisoner Cruz Allen got piece of his left ear bitten off during a fight onboard the prison bus bringing prisoners to court in Belize City

Perhaps the social interaction at the Belize Central Prison is more complex than the outside world of warring gangs in Belize City, from which a number of prison inmates originate. But just as there are gang turfs in the outside world, so also there are various turfs behind the walls of the prison. The dangerous difference, however, is space. Because at times, old beefs are settled when opportunity presents itself and prisoners find themselves in close proximity with rivals.

What happened this Wednesday morning has happened many times before—war among prisoners within the tight space of the prison bus or in the holding cell at the Magistrate’s Court, or at the prison itself.

But this morning’s war onboard a Belize City-bound prison bus escalated to a dangerous level that could have been worse, when a prisoner bit off a piece of another prisoner’s left ear.

At the time of the fight, all the prisoners were restrained in some way — either bound with handcuffs on their hands, or shackled by chains on both their hands and feet.

The victim of the biting, Allen Cruz, is serving a 15-year sentence for two burglary convictions and has another matter pending before the court. But by the time the bus came to a stop at the court parking area around 8:50 a.m., Cruz had already suffered his injury and had to be rushed immediately to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

The information circulating around the court area is that Cruz became involved in an altercation with another prisoner, but no one has named the prisoner who bit off the piece of Cruz’s left ear. Only Cruz knows, and he has not spoken about it.

Around 11:50 a.m., a prison guard escorted Cruz back to court in chains, as he held his injured ear with one hand, navigating his way past the clicking cameras of court reporters.

Due to his injury, however, his case that is pending in Court #2 was put on pause.

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