Two Dandridge police officers and two Jefferson County deputies were called to Mountain View Academy in Dandridge as nighttime fell when a dispatcher told the law enforcement officers that inmates were throwing mops and brooms.
What the law enforcement officers found on Nov. 21 at 8:30 p.m. was a scene of chaos that led to the young boys assaulting police officers and employees hired to oversee their care, according to a police report.
The incident left a deputy and a Mountain View Academy employee injured and taken to Jefferson Memorial Hospital for treatment.
Wayne’s Halfway House, located in Middle Tennessee and the organization that operates the academy, did not comment for this story. An employee at Wayne’s Halfway House directed all calls be made to Mountain View Academy and a control officer at Mountain View Academy directed all calls be made to Wayne’s Halfway House.
According to published reports, an employee, David Bezar, who was involved in the incident, was fired.
Mountain View Academy “administers programs that focus on counseling, child care/security and education for young men aged 12-18 who have come into state custody.”
But, a police report shows a night of confusion and rioting as the inmates of the academy fought against law enforcement and employees.
The first officers to arrive to the scene were officer Phill Batts, Deputy Brandon Bullins, Deputy Andrew Dotson and officer Austin Hux.
The officers were led to the section of the facility known as Charlie Block and the officers radioed in for EMS to arrive and help treat injured employees, according to a police report.
The officers entered Charlie Block and told the inmates to get on the ground.
Because the inmates are juveniles, their names are blacked out in the police report, but Dotson told one of the teens to get on the ground. Instead, the teen got into a fighting stance, the report said.
When Dotson tried to restrain him, the boy fought back, authorities said.
Bullins then stepped in to help with the arrest and two boys fought him.
The boys hit Bullins in the face several times and as he tried to stun them, he was unable to do so.
Another boy gouged at Bullins’ eyeball with his fingers.
Hux, who was nearby, then sprayed one of the boys with freeze and pepper spray to end the attacks.
One of the boys was handcuffed and treated by medical staff at the academy, the report said.
Once the fight was over, Bullins was found to have a deep cut on his left elbow, a scratched eyeball, several pump knots and bruising.
“The rest of the unruly inmates were locked down in their cells and the employees took back control of the block,” the report states.
At this point, Dandridge Police Chief Carson William, another Dandridge officer and Jefferson County deputy arrived at Mountain View Academy.
Three employees of the academy were involved in the fight and officers started speaking to them.
Bezar told officers the fight started when he was in the block speaking with one of the boys when the boy took his radio from him and took it into his cell.
Bezar tried to get the radio back, but the boy and two other inmates started passing it back and forth between them. Bezar’s cell phone also fell out of his pocket and they grabbed it and started passing it, the report said.
The boys then assaulted him, the report stated. Two other employees came to help and the boys began fighting them, authorities said.
Bezar was taken to the hospital with swollen eyes, bruises and other injuries, the report said. Another Mountain View Academy employee suffered pump knots on his head from the fight.
According to the report, Mountain View Academy officials told officers they would provide them with surveillance footage of the incident.
Officials said that none of the boys have been charged at this point and charges are pending.