New details emerge in LCC assaults

Posted By: Brent BonFleur

Around 6:00 Wednesday night, violence erupted at the Lincoln Correctional Center.

One inmate struck an LCC staff member after refusing to return to his cell.

Other inmates – about a dozen in all – joined in and began assaulting other staff members.

Authorities used pepper spray at one point to subdue the inmates.

Six staff members were taken by ambulance to the hospital, three others were taken in state vehicles.

One female staff member required staples to close a gash in her head.

"For a period of time we had 11 units committed to that property for medical emergencies," Fire Chief Michael Despain said.

"Five medic units – we normally staff six – so five out of our six medic units were committed for a period of time there."

All the staff members were treated and released from the hospital Wednesday night.

Nebraska Department of Correctional Services Director Scott Frakes released a statement on the altercation Thursday afternoon.

"Staff safety is a priority for our team. We are doing everything we can to prevent these events," Frakes said.

"We are thankful the staff members were released from the hospital and able to go home last night. This incident cannot be attributed to crowding or staffing levels. Inmates made the choice to harm staff."

LCC was fully staffed at the time of the incident.

Warden Fred Britten also said in a statement that "immediate steps have been taken" to address the incident.

The Nebraska State Patrol is currently reviewing surveillance video as part of its investigation.

The facility remains on lock down, which officials say could last a few more days.

Governor Pete Ricketts canceled a trip to Lexington to meet with Frakes and other prison officials Thursday afternoon.