There are certain Special Operations legends out there that are sometimes hard to make heads or tails of. One involves a little-known prison riot in Panama which resulted in a subsequent snatch and grab operation that the 2nd Ranger Battalion was involved in. The author first heard about this event from his Platoon Leader in a patrol base in Afghanistan with 3/75 back in 2004. Realizing that this event is under-reported, and parts of it completely unreported, this was clearly something that had to be written about.
Some bright star had decided to use rocks instead of pavement for one of the pathways in the prison, and when less than a hundred American soldiers from Charlie Company, 5/87 Infantry entered the camp to quell the riot, they faced hundreds of rioters hurling rocks that rained down on their formation. Face masks and shields were smashed to pieces in the onslaught, limbs were broken, faces bloodied. “When I watch movies about the Civil War and men marching into fire, that’s what it was… Everybody was hurt. Everybody got [messed] up,” one of the American soldiers present told Stars and Stripes.