By Paul Gottlieb / Peninsula Daily News
CLALLAM BAY — Clallam Bay Corrections Center remains on lockdown this morning after a fight erupted at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday that was stopped by a warning shot, agency spokesman Jeremy Barclay said.
Eighty-one inmates in a prison population of about 825 were involved in the prison-yard fracas, he said.
Corrections officers waded into the fight deploying pepper spray, which failed to quell the disturbance, before the shot was fired.
“That brought them under control,” Barclay said.
Barclay said five inmates were transported offsite for treatment of injuries.
He said four inmates were returned to the prison Thursday morning without suffering serious harm, and one remained hospitalized with a broken jaw.
No officers were injured.
There was no indication that the disturbance involved any use of weapons, Barclay said.
Inmate visitation was cancelled for at least Thursday and Saturday, the beginning of the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Barclay did not know this morning if visitation would be cancelled for Sunday.
“They are on lockdown while we begin investigating the cause and making sure that nothing begins a new disturbance,” he said. “We want to make sure that calm is preserved.”
Barclay did not know if the fight grew out of a previous altercation.
“That will be part of the investigation and our questioning,” Barclay said.
Barclay said the lockdown, in which inmates are confined to their cells 24 hours a day, will be slowly eased.
“It’s a cooling-down period, where people’s tempers and their hot moods can slowly cool so that we can then engage with them further and can begin to interview those who were part of it, and can slowly, eventually, return to normal operation, especially for the over 90 percent of the population that was not involved in it,” Barclay said.
“That’s something we can cautiously enter into as the hours progress.”
This story originally appeared in the Peninsula Daily News, a sibling paper to the Herald.