CO injured in inmate attack at Wis. juvenile detention center

The CO later required three staples to close a 1-inch gash on her head

La Crosse Tribune, Wis.

LA CROSSE, Wis. — A correctional officer was injured Sunday when she was attacked by inmates at the La Crosse County Juvenile Detention Center.

According to a police report, three girls age 12, 15 and 16 were in a break room about 7 a.m. when the 12-year-old refused to return to the cell block. A CO said he took hold of her arm and “the fight was on.”

Another officer who came to assist was holding down the 15-year-old when the other two girls attacked her, according to the report.

The report said surveillance video showed the 15-year-old “swinging wildly” at the CO, who later required three staples to close a 1-inch gash on her head. The other CO subdued the 15-year-old when the 12-year-old came toward him holding a broom handle.

Both COs eventually retreated to a control center, at which point the girls “appeared to be celebrating the fact … they had free rein of the day room,” according to the report.

When La Crosse police officers arrived, they found DVDs strewn across the room, tables and chairs upended, and the three girls “with big smiles on their faces.”

The 15- and 16-year-old girls have been referred to prosecutors for charges of substantial batter and assault by prisoner. All three were referred on charges of disorderly conduct while armed and damage to property.

The La Crosse County board last year approved nearly $130,000 in additional funding to keep three COs on duty at the JDC between the hours of 8 a.m. and midnight.

That followed a rise in the JDC population beginning in late 2016 and a spike in suicide attempts in the first half of 2017.

©2018 the La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, Wis.)

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