A state prison inmate slipped his cuffs on a transport bus in Eastern Oregon and attacked another inmate.
Jen Black, communications manager for the Oregon Department of Corrections, said no one was injured during the brief clash.
The transport bus with three corrections staff and 29 inmates left Wednesday morning from Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, the department’s inmate intake center in Wilsonville, heading for Two Rivers Correctional Institution, Umatilla. Around 9:20 a.m., one inmate freed his hands from metal cuffs and committed the assault.
“Because of a fight on the bus, the transport officers pulled over and notified the Oregon State Police, which is standard operating procedure,” Black said.
The bus stopped on the shoulder of Interstate 84 near milepost 147 in Morrow County, where a state trooper and a unit from the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist. Oregon State Police Sgt. Seth Cooney said the corrections staff took control of the situation, and the police escorted the van to the state prison.
The department reported its transports in 2018 traveled 726,345 ground miles, 50,517 air miles and transferred 19,551 inmates, but fights on the rides are rare.
“I talked with our transport manager who has been in the role for the past three years,” Black said. “He told me that this was the first time in three years that an altercation on the bus has occurred.”
The corrections department did not release the names of the inmates involved due to safety and security reasons.
“Our first priority at the Oregon Department of Corrections is to operate safely and securely for our staff and all of the men and women in our custody, during transportation and in our institutions,” Black said.