Inmates come to blows in fight over remote control

Posted: Sunday, September 24, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Sgt. Scott Waggoner wasn't joking as he explained the cause behind an unually vicious fight this week between two inmates at the Fairbanks Correctional Center.

''One guy wanted to watch Maury Povich and one guy wanted to watch Judge Judy,'' Waggoner said, not a hint of laughter in his voice.

''That's what happened,'' he said.

In a very physical example of the battles that often break out over the remote control, Anthony Jones reportedly beat up Theodore McGuire Wednesday morning in a TV room disagreement over whether to watch Povich's daytime talk show or see Judge Judy.

The inmate with the hankering for justice served up in Judge Judy's tyrannical style, ended up victorious--and in more trouble. Charges of assault against Jones have been forwarded to the district attorney's office.

By nature of the place, squabbles break out in jail more than occasionally. But this one went beyond the typical fight, Waggoner said. Jones, 36, inflicted a serious beating on McGuire, 29. He issued several punches that split McGuire's lip, bruised his face, swelled an eye shut and caused a small cut over one eyebrow.

''He beat him up pretty good,'' Waggoner said.

Both Jones and McGuire are no strangers to lockup. A check of courthouse records showed at least 50 charges against Jones dating back to 1980, mostly of a petty nature. His latest visit to the courthouse stems from charges of assault after he allegedly hit a bartender at the Castle Restaurant with a beer glass, leaving a 2-inch cut.

Jones was also arrested earlier this year on a shoplifting charge for reportedly trying to smuggle $45.93 of meat from Safeway under his coat. That ended in his third theft conviction. He was also arrested, though charges were later dropped, for allegedly attempting to disrupt the Open North American Sled Dog Championships.

McGuire, who shows at least a dozen contacts with the court system over the years, is in jail after his probation for a 1997 felony drunken-driving arrest was revoked. Police found him with marijuana and charged him with sixth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance. The charges were later dropped, but he was put back in jail for the violation.

Waggoner said incidents like the TV dispute aren't uncommon, they just don't usually escalate quite so much.

''(They happen) probably more than gets reported,'' he said. ''Most times they're handled inhouse, but this was a relatively severe misdemeanor as-sault. The victim received pretty good injuries, though not to the felony level.''

The incident leaves one question: What would Judge Judy think?

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