April 28–Two Cook County sheriff’s officers were stomped and seriously injured Wednesday night by three prisoners in the maximum security section of the County Jail, according to a spokeswoman for the office.
The attack happened about 8:30 p.m. while two officers tried to secure a patio space on a Division 9 tier, according to Cara Smith, policy chief for Sheriff Tom Dart.
“As they were securing that door, the detainees sort of rushed at the officer — appears to be to try and prevent them from shutting the door, a little hard to tell,” Smith said. “That’s when it started.”
Two of the three accused of beating the officers are charged with attempted murder in the shooting of an off-duty Oak Park police officer outside a Chicago home in the Roseland neighborhood in 2015. A third is accused of shooting a child and her aunt, also on the Far South Side.
The tier where the beating happened has outdoor recreation area with cage-style chain link fences that face La Villita Park, west of the jail. An officer is confronted as that door closes.
Smith said the attack appeared to have been planned and that the sheriff’s office is seeking attempted murder charges against the three.
The ages of the two officers, both men, weren’t immediately available.
The three men that the sheriff’s office are seeking to charge have all been in jail for two or three years, Smith said.
A 20-year-old man and a 19-year-old man are both charged with attempted murder in a May 2015 shooting in the 300 block of West 103rd Place, according to court records.
The younger of the two has been in custody since May 4, and the older one was taken into custody June 5, according to court records. Both are awaiting trial.
“And the longer these men are in our custody in this pretrial status, the more dangerous and volatile the population becomes. These are young guys. It’s really awful,” Smith said. “It’s already a volatile environment just by nature of the work we do, but the inexplicable length of time it takes to bring these cases to trial puts our staff, adds to volatility of environment and puts our staff at risk. And it’s got to be addressed. ”
The third person accused of beating the officers, a 21-year-old man, is charged in a shooting that left a 6-year-old girl critically wounded and her 52-year-old aunt wounded in the thigh.
That shooting happened in July 2013 in the 300 block of West 105th Street, less than two blocks from where the other two men were accused of shooting the off-duty police officer.
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