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Local News

Santa Barbara County Jail on Lockdown After Inmate Fistfight

The Santa Barbara County Jail was put on lockdown Friday after a fistfight between inmates occurred in the jail’s exercise yard, resulting in one inmate being transported to the hospital.

The inmate is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries received during the disturbance, while five other inmates were treated by jail medical staff for minor injuries, according to sheriff’s Lt. Butch Arnoldi.

Authorities are not releasing much information on the incident, which occurred around 11 a.m. Friday, when about 36 inmates were in the jail’s exercise yard. Arnoldi said custody deputies immediately responded and quelled the incident, and no staff members were injured.

Don Patterson, chief deputy of custody operations, said the inmates were in the yard during a normally scheduled exercise period when the fight broke out. No weapons were involved, he said.

Reports surfaced earlier Friday that the attacking inmates were Hispanic while the victim was white, and Patterson said staff are still investigating.

“There was a mixture of races involved, and we’re trying to figure out exactly what was going on to make sure it wasn’t bigger than it first appeared,” he told Noozhawk on Friday afternoon.

Arnoldi said the jail will remain on lockdown, possibly into the weekend, while the staff conducts an investigation into the cause of the incident.

The lockdown may interrupt or cancel weekend visitation of inmates, so people planning to visit this weekend should first call the jail at 805.681.4260.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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