Inmate at Stillwater prison punches K-9 officer Friday morning

An investigation is underway after an inmate at the Stillwater state prison punched a correctional officer in the face Friday morning.

Authorities say the Minnesota Department of Corrections’ Office of Special Investigations is investigating the 11 a.m. incident at the prison in Bayport. The officer was taken to a local hospital and later released.

The assault appears to have been unprovoked, authorities said. The K-9 officer’s dog responded by biting the inmate. The inmate was treated at the prison and then moved to Oak Park Heights, the state’s maximum-security prison prison.

The incident followed two other recent assaults that left six correctional officers injured at the Stillwater and Oak Park Heights prisons.

“Our top priority is the safety of everyone in our facilities,” DOC Commissioner Paul Schnell said in a statement. “We are working very hard right now to prevent these incidents from happening while ensuring those who commit these senseless, violent acts are held accountable.”

The findings of the investigation will be sent to the Washington County attorney’s office for consideration of felony-level charges of assault on a corrections officer.

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