DETENTION CENTER ATTACK REMAINS UNDER INVESTIGATION; LOCKDOWN LIFTED

DETENTION CENTER ATTACK REMAINS UNDER INVESTIGATION; LOCKDOWN LIFTED

The Doña Ana County Detention Center has been placed on lockdown following an attack by an inmate on a detention officer. A full investigation is underway. (NOTE: The lockdown was lifted at approximately 2 p.m. Dec. 4, 2007.)

The officer was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at the Doña Ana County Detention Center Medical Unit before being transported by ambulance to a Las Cruces hospital as a precautionary measure. The officer, Johnny Barrientos, required some stitches and will make a full recovery.

The attack occurred in a maximum-security area of the facility while the inmate was being given his lunch tray. The weapon appears to be a crudely fashioned shank.

The inmate, Donald Taylor, 27, of Rogers, N.M., allegedly struck the officer at least twice in the head before being subdued by other Doña Ana County Detention Center staff. Taylor is a federal inmate being held at the Doña Ana County Detention Center under a contract with the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

He was booked into the facility on Aug. 20, 2007, on multiple federal charges, including homicide, conspiracy to commit homicide, felon in possession of a weapon and ammunition, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamines, carrying a firearm during a violent felony, possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of stolen firearms. He is being held without bond.

Taylor is a member of the Aryan Brotherhood gang and lists his religious affiliation as “satanic.” He is being held in the maximum-security portion of the facility for his own protection, as well as to keep him isolated from the general inmate population.

Taylor will likely face additional felony charges related to today’s attack on the Officer Barrientos. Barrientos is a four-year veteran officer of the facility. He and his colleagues are being credited with responding in "textbook fashion" to the attack.

The Doña Ana County Sheriff Department's investigation into the attack remains active.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (505) 525-5801.