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Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
7:44 PM Tue, Dec. 11th

Prison guards attacked, hospitalized

Updated with prison response.

Two prison guards were hospitalized over the weekend following an assault by a dozen inmates, according to sources at the Arizona State Prison-Kingman.

The assault reportedly happened Saturday in the medium-security Hualapai unit.

Officials with the Arizona State Prison referred questions about the incident to Management and Training Corporation, the Utah-based private company contracted to run the prison.

"Two correctional officers were injured by a small group of inmates at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Kingman on Saturday, Jan. 12," wrote Issa Arnita, a spokesman for MTC, in an email. "Staff immediately responded and contained the incident within minutes; the appropriate protocol was followed. Both officers were taken to the hospital, treated, and later released. The unit where this incident took place was put on lock down.

"Officers have identified the inmates who were involved in this incident. They have been placed in detention pending the outcome of the investigation. The case has been turned over to the Arizona Department of Corrections Criminal Investigation Unit."

According to sources with knowledge of Saturday's attack, a corrections officer was attacked after telling an inmate to get rid of some trash in his cell.

The officer attempted to pepper-spray the inmate, but was overpowered. Another officer came to his aid, but he was also assaulted.

About 12 to 15 inmates kicked and punched the officers while they were on the ground. Both were taken to the hospital.

One was said to have suffered a concussion, but prison officials did not confirm that.

Sources within the prison said Saturday's attack is an example of regular assaults at the facility.

One source said assaults by inmates on staff occur about once a month.