One officer injured his shoulder, another received stitches above the eye and a third was treated for bruising and swelling after the fight, which started around 7:30 p.m. in a hallway leading into the prison’s kitchen.
The Corrections Department is investigating the fight and how the inmates got drunk, but they believe that eight inmates got drunk off “hooch” while working in the prison kitchen, according to Corrections spokeswoman Alex Tomlin.
An officer is assigned to the kitchen, so Tomlin said it’s unclear how the inmates were able to sneak bits of leftover food and allow it to ferment.
Tomlin said an inmate, assigned to duty, was bringing a food tray back from another part of the prison when he whistled at a female employee. That prompted a guard, who will soon be identified, to confront the inmate about his behavior, and an another inmate then kicked the guard in the stomach and punched him in the face.
An officer then tried to defend her co-worker, sparking a fight that ultimately included three other inmates and two other guards, Tomlin said.
Prison staff then conducted a search and discovered the alcohol, Tomlin said. During the fight, the nine other inmates assigned to the kitchen stood peacefully against the wall, she said.
Keep with ABQJournal.com for updates and check out tomorrow’s Albuquerque Journal for a full story.