Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:
Two correctional deputies were assaulted over the weekend during two separate incidents within the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.
On June 12, 2020, at about 6:06 p.m., a correctional deputy was conducting an inmate count within one of the facility’s celled units. Upon arriving to the cell housing inmate Damen Carlson, the deputy observed a compliance violation. As the deputy addressed Carlson to resolve the issue, Carlson charged the deputy and began punching the deputy multiple times. The deputy called for backup, and deployed his department issued taser and OC spray, both having no effect in stopping the attack. Additional correctional deputies arrived on scene to assist and took Carlson into custody. The deputy was transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries. The deputy returned to work on June 14.
Carlson has been charged with additional charges of battery on a custodial officer (PC 243.1), felony resisting (PC 69) and violation of probation (PC 1203.2).
On June 14, 2020, at about 10:18 a.m., a correctional deputy was standing by within one of the facility’s celled units while inmate Wesley Starritt was offered time out of his cell. Upon exiting the cell, without provocation, Starritt punched the deputy in the head. Two additional deputies stationed in the unit gained control of Starritt and placed him in a cell. The assaulted deputy was evaluated and released by facility medical staff.
Starritt has been charged with additional charges of battery on a custodial officer (PC 243.1), felony resisting (PC 69) and violation of probation (PC 1203.2).
As of June 15, 2020, the Humboldt County Correctional Facility has had a total of 20 assaults on staff members this year. In comparison, in 2019, the facility had a total of 12 assaults on staff members.
Correctional Facility staff receive quarterly defensive tactics training specific to a correctional environment and includes ways for staff to defend themselves and others against unpredictable situations. Additionally, all of our staff working in the celled units are outfitted with body worn cameras to provide clear documentation of incidents occurring within our facility. The Sheriff’s Office continues to work towards reducing violence within our correctional facility and is committed to creating a safe environment for inmates and staff members.