News Releases

Correctional Officers Attacked by Inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison

Prison on lockdown to ensure staff safety and facilitate investigation

Crescent City – Two Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) inmates attacked three correctional officers today, Jan. 11. The officers, ages 37, 43 and 45, were treated at a local hospital for lacerations and puncture wounds and released.

“Our foremost concern is for the safety and well-being of our dedicated staff,” said PBSP Warden Gregory Lewis. “Our officers’ injuries are not life-threatening and we are glad they were discharged from the hospital today. Our thoughts and prayers are with them for a speedy recovery.”

The attack occurred about 9:25 a.m. when two inmates rushed the officers with prison-made weapons while being released into the exercise yard. Custody staff in the immediate area responded and stopped the attack with physical force and batons. Two weapons were recovered.

At least two inmates have been identified as suspects. One inmate, age 20, is serving a 50-year sentence from Los Angeles County for first-degree murder. He has been in prison since Oct. 26, 2009. The second suspect, age 36, is serving 60 years for carjacking and making terrorist threats. He also was convicted in Los Angeles County and has been in prison since Feb. 7, 1997.

The incident is being investigated by the Investigative Services Unit at PBSP and agents from the Office of the Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review. An investigator from the Del Norte County District Attorney’s Office is participating in the investigation.

PBSP remains locked down until further notice. The institution will issue notification if visiting for this weekend needs to be cancelled.

Pelican Bay State Prison houses California’s most serious criminal offenders in a secure, safe, and disciplined institutional setting. The prison houses maximum-security inmates in a general population setting and has a Security Housing Unit (SHU) for inmates with serious management concerns, validated prison gang members and violent maximum-security inmates. The prison, which opened in 1989, provides academic education programs, houses 3,200 inmates and employs 1,500 people.

January 11, 2011
Contact: Terry Thornton
(916) 445-4950