MAY 2 DISTURBANCE AT DETENTION CENTER

MAY 2 DISTURBANCE AT DETENTION CENTER

A Tuesday evening disturbance in the Medical Unit of the Doña Ana County Detention Center is being blamed on a combination of a defective cell lock and improper adherence to procedural controls, both of which were taken advantage of by Jesse Avalos in the Medical Unit.
The 10 p.m. disturbance was quelled by the staff, but not before Avalos, 27, and another inmate, Robert Barragan, 23, caused about $3,700 in damage to reinforced glass windows in the restricted-access area.
Avalos and Barragan gained access to a fire extinguisher inside the Medical Unit and, using the fire extinguisher as a battering ram, broke several windows out of the cells within the unit. No one was injured except Avalos, who suffered a minor cut on his hand from broken glass. At no time was either inmate able to leave the secured Medical Unit.
Barragan is in the detention center on burglary and larceny charges. Avalos has been convicted of murder and is awaiting transfer to a state prison facility.
An internal investigation is continuing into the incident. Disciplinary actions will be taken against those who are found to be responsible. The company that installed the locking mechanism in the Medical Unit cell door that Avalos was able to open has been contacted and a full review of all similar doors is being conducted throughout the facility.