Two riots involving more than 200 prisoners break out at Coalinga prison, state confirms

Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga
Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga Vida Staff Photo

Two separate riots at Pleasant Valley State Prison this week left at least six inmates hospitalized and prompted officers to shoot off a chemical agent, authorities revealed.

On Friday, a spokeswoman from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said 182 inmates were involved in a riot around noon Wednesday, and a second , smaller riot broke out Thursday at the prison in Coalinga.

Wednesday’s riot, which wasn’t reported by the state for a day after it released information about the Thursday riot, left three inmates with puncture wounds. They were taken to an outside hospital for treatment. One remained hospitalized Friday, according to CDCR.

Prison staff recovered 19 inmate-made weapons on Wednesday.

Two more weapons reportedly made by inmates were recovered during Thursday’s riot, which involved 41 inmates, according to CDCR.

Thursday’s riot reportedly began after an inmate was jumped by a group of prisoners, which prompted more to join around 9:40 a.m. Three inmates were injured in that incident and taken to the hospital.

On both days, prison staff gave orders for the fights to stop and then sprayed a chemical agent, according to a news release. Thursday’s riot prompted an officer to fire two warning shots from a Ruger Mini-14 rifle.

According to the CDCR statement, the inmates involved in Thursday’s riot were in fair condition. No prison staff members were injured during the disturbance.

The cause of the riots is being investigated. According to a CDCR statement, the two riots were unrelated and took place in different facility yards.

The Office of the Inspector General and a CDCR Deadly Force Investigation Team were notified of Thursday’s riot, the state said. A deadly force review board will conduct an investigation of the incident.

Related stories from Fresno Bee

Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado is a general assignment reporter at The Fresno Bee. He grew up in Porterville and has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Fresno State. He is a former student editor at the Fresno State and Fresno City College newspapers. His hobbies include reading, sleeping, running and taking care of his dog.