The violent brawl that broke out at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary (HMP) in St. John’s on Sunday was an orchestrated attack on Kenny Green, his family members told The Telegram.
“They jumped him with shanks,” Green’s father, Ken Green Sr., said in a telephone interview Monday.
“Kenny’s best kind, though. He’s taking it all in stride. He’s laughing about it, actually.”
Police are saying little about what happened because they are still investigating, but they were called to the prison on Forest Road in St. John’s at around 4:30 p.m.
They said a number of inmates were involved in the altercation, but wouldn’t mention names. Some of them were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Sources say the injuries were stab wounds. All have been treated and are back at the prison.
Green Sr. said it happened in the prison’s chapel, where a group of inmates gathered for a weekly Sunday service.
Three Salvation Army clergymen were said to have been in the chapel when the fight broke out, but they weren’t injured.
Green Sr. said his son’s injuries were minor.
“He only got three stitches in his side,” Green Sr. said. “The other crowd — nine of them — got the worst of it.”
Green Jr. was first jailed in March of last year, when he arrested in connection with the beating death of 47-year-old Joey Whalen.
Whalen died in hospital on March 17, 2013, two days after he was reportedly beaten at a notorious drug house on Tessier Place in downtown St. John’s. The 35-year-old has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder.
Green Sr. believes his son was falsely accused of the crime. He added that the HMP attack was likely in retaliation for an incident that happened years ago involving another man, now an inmate at the prison, who was at the chapel at the time.
“This has been going on for years,” said Green Sr. “(The man) got the shit kicked out of him and he’s blaming Kenny for it. It’s over bullshit.”
Green’s girlfriend and the mother of his child, Danielle Collins, said Green Jr. called her immediately after the HMP incident.
“He’s really good,” she said, when asked how Green was doing. “He was laughing about it.
“He didn’t even know he was cut until a little while after. He didn’t want to go to the hospital, but it was mandatory.
“But he did really well, considering there were nine or 10 of them (who attacked him). Kenny knows how to handle himself.”
Shortly after the incident, Collins wrote on her Facebook page: “2 against 9 and my man still held his f---ing own... F---ing punks think you can take him you got a surprise didn’t ya... You looked like fools and hope you enjoyed getting your head jumped on while my man was laughing at it... I talked to the guards and heard the way it went down LOL St. John’s mob my ass.”
Collins said Green told her there was only one guard in the chapel at the time. Once the fight started, several other guards ran in, she said.
Collins said she found it strange that there was only one guard there, because the staff were aware there was tension towards Green and that he would likely be targeted.
She said Green said he was attacked shortly after they got to the chapel.
“Kenny said one of the guys pulled out a shank and said to him, ‘Let’s do it.’ Kenny said OK and that was it.”
Collins said Green spent 10 months on the prison’s Special Handling Unit (SHU), in which inmates are separated from the rest of the population.
He was released following a bail review on Jan. 17, but was taken into custody again the next day when he was spotted at a restaurant that serves alcohol, a breach of one of his bail conditions.
Collins said Green has been with the general population ever since.
Collins said she doesn’t worry about Green, but admitted she felt better when he was on the SHU. She said she plans to visit with Green Jr. on Tuesday, once the lockdown has been lifted.