DOC: 3 Correctional staff injured during attack at Oak Park Heights prison Tuesday evening
Three Correctional staff are recovering from injuries after they were attacked at the prison located in Oak Park Heights Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) has confirmed.
According to a DOC spokesperson, two male prisoners assaulted a Corrections Sergeant and two Corrections Officers at 5:24 p.m. One of the three injured staff was more seriously hurt and taken to Regions Hospital by ambulance. This person was treated and eventually released.
The other two injured staff were taken to Lakeview Hospital where they were released after an evaluation, the DOC says.
The DOC did not elaborate on the type of injuries the staff members had or any specifics about the attack.
The DOC spokesperson also told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS a separate incident occurred late Monday morning at the prison in Stillwater in which a fight broke out among multiple prisoners. The DOC noted three officers who intervened were assaulted. The three officers were transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation and released.
“Our highest priority is the safety of our staff and all individuals in our facilities,” said DOC Commissioner Paul Schnell in a statement. “Those responsible for these senseless and cowardly acts of violence will be fully held to account for their actions. These assaults are a troubling reminder of the very real risks correctional staff take in service to the public safety of all Minnesotans.”
The DOC says their Office of Special Investigations will forward investigation results to the Washington County Attorney’s Office for charging consideration.
Julie Bleyhl, the executive director for AFSCME Council 5, the union representing the corrections officers, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Wednesday morning the officers were taken to a hospital by ambulance.
Bleyhl issued the following statement in regard to the attack:
“Three Correctional Officers from MCF-Oak Park Heights were taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital to seek medical treatment for injuries they sustained in an attack. Our union’s thoughts are with the officers who are recovering from these injuries, and we greatly appreciate the back-up support of officers who responded to this incident and stopped the involved offenders from further attacking staff.
AFSCME Council 5 Correctional Officers from across our state have long been gravely disturbed by the constant stream of assaults on staff within the walls of our correctional and secure facilities. Our union will never stop fighting for the right of every worker to be safe on the job and can end their shift the same way they came to work.
Increased Safe Staffing levels in every facility and investments in all staff must be prioritized in order to properly staff and secure these often-dangerous workplaces across our state to maintain public safety.”