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Public Safety

Riot At Donovan State Prison Sends 3 Inmates To Hospital

A common area for inmates in D block at Donovan State Prison, Sept. 2015.
Promise Yee
A common area for inmates in D block at Donovan State Prison, Sept. 2015.

A fight between two inmates at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility escalated Thursday into a riot that sent three prisoners to a hospital.

The brawl erupted near a workout yard at the Otay Mesa-area state prison about 11:30 a.m. and eventually involved about 135 combatants, said Lt. Philip Bracamonte, a spokesman for the penitentiary.

Corrections officers fired four non-lethal foam rounds at the clashing group of men and discharged three warning shots from a rifle into the air to break up the fracas.

Some inmates were treated on site by staff medics for minor injuries, and three others were sent to an outside trauma center for further care, Bracamonte said. The conditions of the latter patients were not released.

No penitentiary employees were injured.

The riot was being investigated by the prison's Investigative Services Unit. The state Office of the Inspector General also was notified, and a team from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation also will review the melee, according to Bracamonte.

All inmates suspected of having been involved in the fight were placed in an administrative segregation unit, the lieutenant said.