SCI Houtzdale Inmates

SCI Houtzdale Inmates

CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County District Attorney, William A. Shaw, Jr., announced today that three inmates have been charged in the April riot at SCI Houtzdale. 

Shaw identified the defendants as Norman Wothman, age 51, Yafest Oliver, age 26, and Richard Adams, age 34, all formerly inmates at SCI Houtzdale. 

Trooper David Patrick of the Pennsylvania State Police, Clearfield Barracks, filed Criminal Complaints charging the defendants with: 1) Aggravated Assault, F1; 2) Assault by Prisoner, F2; 3) Riot, F3; 4) Simple Assault, M2; 5) Disorderly Conduct, M3; and 6) Harassment, S. 

According to the Criminal Complaints filed by Trooper Patrick, on April 28, 2015, at approximately 2:34 p.m. Corrections Officers at SCI Houtzdale responded to a physical altercation between two inmates. When Corrections Officers approached, they observed Inmate Richard Adams kicking another inmate in the head and face area as he was lying on the ground. Corrections Officers then ordered Inmate Adams to cuff up; however, Inmate Adams refused all orders and took a fighting stance. As Corrections Officers gained control of Inmate Adams they were assaulted by multiple inmates. 

Upon investigation, it was determined that Inmate Adams, along with Inmate Yafest Oliver, kicked, stomped, and punched a Corrections Officer while he was on the ground. The Corrections Officer was life-flighted to UPMC Altoona to be treated for injuries. It was further determined that Inmate Oliver also assaulted other Corrections Officers by kicking, punching, and even using a staff radio to assault the officers. During the melee, Inmate Norman Wothman was also observed striking a Corrections Officer in the head with a closed fist.

After the victims were removed from the area to be transported to UPMC Altoona for treatment, Inmate Wothman refused to follow any orders. Instead, Inmate Wothman threatened other inmates who were attempting to leave and encouraged others to stay in the yard and assault other Corrections Officers.

Shaw stated that officials from SCI Houtzdale, as well as investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police have identified a number of inmates who participated in the riot.  Shaw reported that further arrests will be made.  Shaw stated that preliminary hearings for the first three inmates charged will be held in the near future. 

Shaw stated he was extremely proud of the quick response from officials at SCI Houtzdale to quash the disturbance and prevent the situation from escalating.  Shaw said negotiators and special response teams from the Department of Corrections were able to gain immediate control of the situation and prevent further incident.  Shaw believes community members should feel safe and recognize the professionals from SCI Houtzdale and the State Police are prepared to handle to events.

Shaw explained that this type of violent criminal activity is completely unacceptable, and continued efforts will be made to identify, investigate, and prosecute criminals responsible for this type of behavior at SCI Houtzdale.  Shaw said working in a State Prison is a stressful and dangerous job and the men and women who work tirelessly to supervise convicted criminals are entitled to feel safe in the work place.  Assaults of this nature are unacceptable and will be prosecuted, Shaw said.

Anyone with knowledge of a Crime is asked to call Clearfield County Crime Stoppers at (800)-376-4700. All calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential. 

Anonymous tips can also be submitted by visiting the Clearfield County District Attorney web site at “www.ClearfieldDA.org” and selecting “Report A Crime”.   




1 (800) 376-4700

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

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