Officers injured during inmate riot
According to Lt. Nick Albonico, public information officer at HDSP, the officers only sustained minor injuries, bumps and bruises, no broken bones. Two other officers were also injured after the incident for a total of 10 people injured that day.
According to a press release from HDSP, the riot occurred on the facility’s C 1 yard after officers responded to a fist fight between two other inmates.
The yard was shut down and approximately 12 initial responders ordered a number of inmates to move out of the response path due to the location of the incident.
According to the press release, two Southern Hispanic inmates were slow to comply with staff’s orders to move out of the way so staff could safely advance to the fight.
Officers were able to successfully remove the inmates involved in the fight.Prior to the yard resuming, two officers and a sergeant went to escort the Southern Hispanic inmates from the yard.
When one inmate was ordered to stand up to be escorted off the yard, he stood up and faced one of the officers. He was then ordered to turn around and submit to a clothed body search but he refused and also disobeyed orders to submit to handcuffs, according to the press release.
After being ordered to lie on the ground, the inmate allegedly punched the officer in the face. The other officer utilized his physical strength to force the inmate to the ground and injured his shoulder in the process.
At the same time, seven other Southern Hispanic inmates to the left of the officers jumped up and attacked the staff. Then groups of Southern Hispanics to the right and behind the officers jumped up and ran for the staff line containing five remaining people.
Altogether there were 42 Southern Hispanics on the yard and all charged the skirmish line from three directions.
Dueto the prior fist fight, secondary response was located just outside the facility gate and they entered the yard. The eight staff members on the yard were assaulted and utilized O.C. pepper spray, batons, a chemical agent and physical force as well as a 40 MM loaded with XM 1006 direct impact sponge rounds.
The officer with the 40 MM fired 16 rounds into the advancing inmates.
Responding staff forced the inmates back an additional two times and altogether, the inmates charged the staff line three times.
Due to the magnitude of the incident and the reasonable belief the incident would result in great bodily injury or death, the C-2 Control Booth Officer fired two warning shots from his state-issued Mini-14 rifle into the C facility gym wall. In addition, there were multiple less-than- lethal force options used by multiple staff members.
All injured staff and inmates were taken to the Correctional Treatment Center, and then nine officers and one inmate were transported to BLMC.
The Lassen County District Attorney’s Office and the Investigative Services Unit at High Desert State Prison are investigating the case. The Office of Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review was also notified.
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