OLYMPIA – A Thurston County corrections officer was injured this afternoon in a fight with an inmate who was being brought to court. The incident happened about 1:30 in the afternoon as the inmate was being taken by elevator from the jail to the courtroom. The elevator stopped and the alarm went off, prompting courthouse officials to send an alarm to the nearby Sheriff's Office.
Responding corrections officers and deputies found the elevator jammed between floors and could hear the female corrections officer's screams and sounds from the altercation inside. After approximately 20 minutes, the elevator was lowered to the basement and the doors were pried open. Responding officers observed the inmate with the corrections officer and they quickly subdued him. Both the officer and the inmate were taken to the hospital for treatment. The type and extent of their injuries is not known at this time, but they are not believed to have been serious.
The inmate is listed as Carl Vance, a 62-year-old who had been arrested earlier in Olympia on a charge of First Degree Armed Robbery. Mr. Vance has a lengthy criminal history.
The investigation into the incident is in the preliminary stages and very little has been ascertained so far. The interjurisdictional Thurston County "Officer Involved Shooting Team" has been brought in to help with the investigation, since the incident involved a Thurston County officer.
Building Two of the Thurston County Courthouse (the Superior Court Building ) was evacuated as a precaution after the incident. It was reopened about 2:18 PM.