Approximately 63 inmates were involved in an inmate vs. inmate disturbance in their dormitory at the Pitchess Detention Center - North County Correctional Facility, at 1:37 p.m. today.
Within minutes, deputies and custody assistants working in that dormitory area were joined by Emergency Response Teams of sheriff's deputies who responded to prevent the escalation of violence between the inmates and to restore order.
Deputies initially used verbal commands and ordered the inmates to stop fighting. When the fighting continued, deputies threw “Clear Out” gas and sting balls (which deploy rubber pellets that sting) into the area where inmates were fighting each other. Deputies restored order after approximately 10 minutes.
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Preliminary investigation did not reveal the reason for the brawl. No weapons were seen to have been used by the inmates, not were any found during the search afterwards.
Deputies identified numerous suspects in the altercation. It is under investigation by Sheriff's Operation Safe Jails investigators.
One inmate sustained a small puncture wound to his abdomen during the fight. The inmate told deputies he was “stuck” by an unknown inmate. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for further medical treatment for non life-threatening injuries. Twenty inmates sustained minor injuries including scrapes/scratches and were treated for their injuries by jail medical professionals.
The fighting was restricted to inmates fighting inmates. No deputies or custody assistants were injured.
The jail remained on modified lock down status throughout the day as a result of the inmate disturbance.