12 inmates wounded in riot involving 373 at Centinela

May 16, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA

Staff Writer

SEELEY — A riot involving around 373 Centinela State Prison inmates left 12 inmates wounded, two with puncture wounds and one with a head injury.

A correctional officer also received minor injuries. He was treated for pepper spray inhalation.

The entire prison remained under a modified program this morning, a form of lockdown that does allow some inmates to continue with their work details.

The riot broke out at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday in the recreational yard of one of the modules. The fighting was between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white populations. Smaller fights broke out in the general population building, gymnasium and satellite kitchen, said Centinela Public Information Officer Deavonne Long.


"Staff were able to control the situation, especially given the fact it spread, using non-lethal means and chemical agents to stop the inmates' aggressions," said Long.

Of the 12 inmates taken to Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley and El Centro Regional Medical Center, nine were quickly returned to the prison. The two who sustained puncture wounds remain at El Centro Regional this morning. Long said both suffered collapsed lungs.

The inmate with the head injury was taken Wednesday morning to the University of California San Diego Medical Center. Long said she wasn't sure what kind of head injury the inmate suffered, but it didn't involve puncture wounds.

She said all educational and vocational programs are suspended while officers search the entire facility for weapons.

She said officers have found a few inmate-manufactured weapons but she wasn't sure how many. Officers continued searching today and will continue to do so until the investigation is finished.

>>Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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