The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office says black parish jail inmates joined to beat up whites — and got two whites to join them by threatening to beat them up, too. The alleged ringleader stayed out of the fights.

Sgt. Lesley Hill Peters — a sheriff's office spokeswoman — says nine inmates, seven of them black, were booked Monday on hate crime and battery charges. A tenth was booked as a principal to those crimes.

She says deputies got warrants for two former inmates on Tuesday on the same charges.

She says the inmates attacked together after one announced that five white inmates would have to leave the cellblock on their own or through the hospital.

Peters says two men were beaten unconscious in separate attacks within 10 minutes on March 10, and a third on March 13.