DOC: Stillwater inmate punches corrections officer; 5th officer hurt at prison in 2 weeks

The Minnesota Department of Corrections says an inmate at the Stillwater prison punched a K9 corrections officer in the face on Friday. It’s the third incident in two weeks in which an officer was hurt.

DOC spokesman Aaron Swanum said the attack happened around 11 a.m. Friday. The officer’s K9 then “responded as trained” by biting the inmate, who was treated for his injuries at the prison.

Officials believe the punch was not provoked.

The officer was taken to a hospital and has since been released, Swanum said.

“Our top priority is the safety of everyone in our facilities,” DOC Commissioner Paul Schnell said in a statement. “We are working very hard right now to prevent these incidents from happening while ensuring those who commit these senseless, violent acts are held accountable.”

The inmate who punched the officer has been moved to the Oak Park Heights prison, which the DOC says is the highest security correctional facility in the state.

Friday’s attack follows two incidents at the Stillwater prison last week that resulted in injuries to four corrections officers.

On March 6, a fight broke out among prisoners, and three officers who intervened were assaulted, according to the DOC. Three days later, a corrections sergeant was doing a routine facility unit movement when an inmate suddenly ran up to him and started hitting him in the face.