Four officer injured while breaking up fight at penitentiary

A Saturday evening fight led the restrictions on four units at the prison.

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WALLA WALLA - Four correctional officers were injured while breaking up a fight Saturday night at the Washington State Penitentiary. All four were treated and released after being taken to a local hospital.

Shari Hall, prison spokeswoman, said the officers were injured as they broke up a fight between two prisoners who had "handmade sharpened weapons." Both men have been placed in segregation where they will be interviewed by prison investigators and local law enforcement.

Because of the fight, all four close-custody units at the Washington State Penitentiary's West Complex are on lockdown today. The rest of the prison is on normal operating status.

The assault occurred about 7:40 p.m. in the commons area of Echo unit. Delta, Echo, Fox and Golf are the four close-custody living units in the West Complex which house high-risk prisoners.

All West Complex activities, including visiting, have been cancelled for the rest of the weekend. The lockdown will not affect scheduled activities for the rest of the facility.

Hall said today prison officials do not believe this fight is related to an assault last week involving two prisoners in a different unit in which one inmate was stabbed. That assault occurred Tuesday night.

All four units were locked down after the Tuesday assault, but three units had returned to normal operations Saturday.

Each West Complex unit houses a total of 187 prisoners. The entire prison population houses more than 2,000 inmates in minimum, close and maximum custody.

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