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Dozens of inmates in brawl at Castaic detention center

October 9, 2011 | 11:16 pm

A brawl involving dozens of inmates broke out at a Los Angeles County jail Sunday afternoon, according to a Sheriff’s Department statement released Sunday night.

Shortly after 1:30 p.m., fighting erupted at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic.  In all, 63 inmates were involved in the fracas, which was contained to a dormitory area at the facility, Capt. Mike Parker said in a press release.

Jail personnel and a special anti-riot team of sheriff’s deputies responded to the fighting.  When the inmates ignored orders to stop, the deputies threw “clear out” gas and “sting balls,” which deploy rubber pellets, into the area, Parker said.  Calm was restored after about 10 minutes, according to the press release.

The reason for the brawl was not immediately known.  One inmate suffered a small puncture wound to the stomach area and was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.  Twenty other inmates received treatment at the jail for minor scrapes and scratches.

The jail remained on a “modified lockdown status” throughout Sunday as a precaution, Parker said.

 The Sheriff’s Department’s network of jails has been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent weeks.  The Times has published a series of articles regarding allegations of inmate abuses by deputies.  Sheriff Lee Baca has formed two task forces to look into the claims, while critics have urged the FBI to launch a broad investigation into the jails.


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-- Joel Rubin  (twitter.com/joelrubin)