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Dramatic video shows inmate take employee hostage at Arizona prison

Hostage situation in Arizona prison
Hostage situation in Arizona prison 01:16

Phoenix -- State corrections officials have released security video of an inmate holding a prison employee hostage at knifepoint for two hours. Arizona Department of Corrections officials say the video was released Thursday to show "the ever-present risks faced by correctional employees" and honor the librarian who received the agency's medal of valor.

They say the Dec. 26 incident at the Lewis prison in Buckeye began inmate Timothy Monk took a blade-like weapon out of his shoe and wrestled the librarian to the ground.

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State corrections officials have released security video of an inmate holding a prison employee hostage at knifepoint for two hours.  Arizona Department of Corrections

Prison officials say Monk took the man hostage in hope of getting out of prison, where he's serving a 97-year term.

CBS affiliate KPHO reports the standoff ended after the librarian, identified as Allen Hartzell, used pepper spray on Monk and corrections officers stormed the room with a stun grenade, pepperballs and bean bags.

KPHO-TV reports that Monk has been serving time since 1988 for armed robbery, sexual assault and kidnapping.

The station also reports it is not the first time Monk has done this. In 2006 he held a female corrections officer hostage in a Tucson prison using a homemade blade of razors and plexiglass. That stand-off lasted five hours.

The station reported that Thursday, the Arizona Department of Corrections awarded Hartzell with the agency's "Medal of Valor," it's highest honor, and praised the 19 staff members who rescued him.

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