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Inmate blindsided guard at outset of jail melee, prosecutor says

David Bush (from left), Terrence Lynom and Taiwan McNeal | Cook County sheriff's office

Eleven burly sheriff’s deputies on Sunday formed a circle around three shackled maximum-security Cook County Jail inmates accused of severely beating two guards.

David Bush, 19, Terrence Lynom, 20, and Taiwan McNeal, 20, punched and stomped the guards before they were able to flee to safety — all of which was captured on surveillance video, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Craig Taczy said in court.

The attack Wednesday began with a blindside punch thrown by Bush, Taczy said.

What sparked the incident was not addressed during a bail hearing Sunday or in court records. And Samuel Randall, a spokesman for Dart, said the motive was unclear when contacted Sunday.

Attorney Dawn Projansky, who represents McNeal, is seeking the preservation of security video taken inside the elevators of the maximum security division in the minutes before and after the beating, according to court records. Projansky could not be reached Sunday.

RELATED: 3 inmates charged with attempted murder for attacking deputies

Footage of the beating released by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office shows the jail guards fleeing to safety behind a locked door before a large group of guards — responding to an “All Available” call — rush into a common area where the attack happened to find a group of inmates voluntarily laying on the ground.

In the moments before the attack — which happened about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in a housing tier in Division 9, the super-maximum facility — one of the guards was securing the door between the common area and a recreational area, Randall said.

All three men have been charged with one count of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated battery with great bodily harm, two counts of aggravated battery to a peace officer and two counts of mob action.

Both jail guards were hospitalized but have been released. One suffered broken facial bones and nasal injuries, and the other suffered a concussion and a loss consciousness, Taczy said.

Cook County Judge Donald D Panarese Jr. on Sunday ordered all three men to remain behind bars on no bail.

Bush and McNeal were already being held on attempted murder charges in connection with the shooting of an off-duty Oak Park police officer in 2015, the sheriff’s office said. Lynom has been jailed since 2014 on attempted murder charges in connection with the shooting of a 6-year-old girl who was riding her bike in the Far South Side Roseland neighborhood.

Each of the men has had more than 20 court continuances on their original cases and have had multiple disciplinary incidents issued against them while in custody, the sheriff’s office said.