Report: Drunk Union Co. inmates compete in push-up contest - | WBTV Charlotte

Report: Drunk Union Co. inmates compete in push-up contest

Inmates at an Upstate jail. (File/FOX Carolina) Inmates at an Upstate jail. (File/FOX Carolina)
UNION, SC (FOX Carolina) -

After a Union County inmate seemed a little wobbly after a push-up contest with fellow prisoners, deputies said they discovered some of the men had been drinking.

According to a Union County Sheriff's Office report, a detention center officer checking the yard noticed state inmates competing to see who could do the most push-ups Wednesday.

When they stopped, deputies said one of the men, identified as 36-year-old Billy Joel McKinney, could not hold his balance, so the officer stuck around to make sure he had not overdone it.

The report said the men continued to compete, but McKinney again began to stagger when he tried to get up. The officer pulled him aside and said he smelled of alcohol, according to the report.

The jail ran blood alcohol tests and determined that four inmates had been drinking, deputies said. McKinney's test came back with a blood alcohol level of 0.19 while three others ranged from 0.03 to 0.08, according to the report.

The report said two of the men admitted to drinking while the other two denied it. Deputies said no one would say how they received the contraband.

The report identified the three other Department of Corrections inmates as Franklin Jenkins, 26; Daniel Sims, 47; and Kyle Robertson, 24. Click here to see their mugshots.

All four inmates' online DOC records show they have were moved to another facility for disciplinary reasons.

Neil McKeown, detention center director, said they believe the men got vodka back into the jail from a work site. He said the inmates were trustees, violating a trust that could have helped them shave off some of their time in prison.

"We think they might have brought it back in... we issue some Gatorade on some of the jobs with the heat stress, and we undoubtedly believe they got vodka in a Gatorade bottle and brought it back in," McKeown said.

Administrators now say inmates cannot bring drinks back from the work site.

Deputies said they were only brought in to conduct the breathalyzer test as the Union County Detention Center is handling the investigation.

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