Four King County corrections officers injured in fight with inmate at RJC in Kent

Four King County jail corrections officers were injured in a fight with an inmate at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

Two officers were transported to Valley Medical Center in Renton after the Jan. 11 incident while the other two were treated the next day by their personal doctors, said Cmdr. Williams Hayes, spokesman for the RJC jail.

"One was taken to the hospital by ambulance and we drove another one there," Hayes said in a phone interview.

Hayes said he could not disclose details about any of the injuries because of privacy laws. He added the officer with the most serious injuries remained in the hospital for two days before being released.

"I can't talk about the injuries but it was serious enough that one of the officers won't return to work for a bit," Hayes said.

The 32-year-old inmate had minor injuries.

"We're thankful the officers were not hurt worse than they were," Hayes said. "We hope to see fully recovery for all of them. That's what's important now. I talked to the one who was the most injured and he's in good spirits."

All of the correction officers have worked between four to 10 years at the jail.

The cause of the fight remains under investigation.

"We're completing an internal review and gathering evidence to pursue criminal charges," Hayes said. "In all likelihood, there will be criminal charges."

The inmate, in jail to face a 2009 first-degree robbery charge, has been transferred to the county's high-security facility in downtown Seattle.

"He's a big inmate," Hayes said about the one man fighting four men. "It was all throwing fists and kicking."

Hayes said the inmate started to assault one officer in an open area where inmates are taken individually to shower. An officer is stationed in that area.

A second officer came to the aid of the first officer and two additional officers also arrived before they were able to control the inmate and handcuff him.

"It all happened in less than 5 minutes," Hayes said.

The county jail at the RJC averages about 700 to 725 inmates per day but can hold up to 1,340 inmates.

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