By Jacques Billeaud, The Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) -- A female prison guard who was held hostage for 15
days in a watch tower by two violent Arizona inmates was angry that
she was the victim of a security breach but pulled herself together
by praying and thinking of her daughter, according to records
Though she was sexually assaulted during the standoff west of Phoenix
and began to lose faith, the guard tried to keep her wits, thought of
ways to escape and did what she could to protect herself from the
"I just want to get out to see my daughter," the guard told
investigators after her Feb. 1 release. A transcript of her interview
was obtained through a public records request.
The guard's identity was withheld by The Associated Press because she
is a sexual abuse victim. She couldn't be reached for comment.
In her interview with investigators, she described the suffering she
and another guard experienced after the tower was overtaken.
She also said the prisoners wanted to "take out" police officers.
While she was frustrated with negotiations, she believed the
situation could be resolved.
The two prisoners took the female guard and guard Jason Auch hostage
Jan. 18 at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis in Buckeye. Auch
was released eight days before the female guard.
Authorities are investigating the standoff and filed criminal charges
Thursday against inmates Ricky Wassenaar and Steven Coy.
Coy is accused of sexual assaulting the female guard and a female
worker who was in a prison kitchen where the inmates first
overpowered an officer before going to the tower. Wassenaar was
allowed into the three-story tower because he was wearing a uniform
taken from a guard.
The female guard worried about authorities rushing the tower.
"It's gonna take days, but we can talk this out," she said. "I can
come out of here alive."
She said she drew strength from her fellow guards wearing yellow
ribbons -- encouragement that was needed.
She was physically attacked by an inmate, faced requests for sex from
the inmates and had some days when she wasn't given food.
Both guards were physically assaulted and lost feeling in their hands
because the cuffs on their hands were too tight. The prisoners also
used them as shields to protect themselves in case authorities fired
At one point, the female guard said Auch, bloody after a prisoner hit
him in the head, looked as though he was going into shock.
While Coy ignored her pleas for him not to sexually assault her, she
was able to decline Wassenaar's request for sex.
She questioned why Auch let Wassenaar into the tower without vocal or
She seemed angry Auch was released before her, but she came to accept
it. "Auch's a good guy. He's young. He's got his life ahead of him,"
she said. "And for some reason, God wanted me there."
She became resourceful by eavesdropping on the inmates, ingratiating
herself by making jokes and trying to making herself sexually
Though she didn't carry out her ideas on escaping, she thought about
trying to get a gun from the inmates once they fell asleep. She
wanted to free herself from her handcuffs.
But her desire to get out of the tower might have worked against her
because, the night before Auch was released, they said she was trying
to get away, she told investigators.
She grew desperate, at one time, even considering running out one of
the tower's hatches. "So I get a couple of broken legs, no big deal,"
she said. "At least I'd be safe."
She wanted nothing to do with the exchange of gunfire that the
prisoners wanted but never got.
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"You know, I work here to put food on my daughter's table and a roof
over our heads," she said.