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8 Inmates Hurt in Brawl at County Jail in Castaic

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Eight inmates were injured Tuesday in a brawl between black and white inmates at a county jail in Castaic, authorities said, reporting the 15th race-related fight since April and the third in three days.

About 20 inmates--10 blacks and 10 whites--were involved in the fight at a dormitory in the maximum security North Facility of the Peter J. Pitchess Honor Rancho, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.

One inmate was taken to San Fernando Community Hospital with minor stab wounds and another was taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia for observation after he was struck in the head, Deputy Louis Goldstein said.

Authorities said they did not know the reason for Tuesday’s fight. In the past, many of the fights have begun over such minor issues as use of a pay telephone or access to vending machines. The disturbances usually occur when inmates of different races become involved in a fight and other inmates join in.

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Most of the recent fights have involved blacks and Latinos, the two largest groups in the jail. Authorities have attributed the racial tension to a shift in the jail’s population from black to Latino dominance, and the resulting power struggle for internal control.

On Monday, four inmates were injured in a fight that broke out between 10 black and 10 Latino inmates in a maximum-security dormitory, deputies said. Ten deputies quickly ended the disturbance.

In a fight Sunday involving 40 inmates, 19 suffered minor injuries in a clash over a bag of potato chips, authorities said.


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