Altercation at Varner leaves three injured

Three corrections department employees, including a deputy warden at the Varner Unit, were injured Sunday after an altercation at the prison which followed a shakedown in a barracks.

Corrections spokeswoman Shea Wilson said deputy warden Joe Page was knocked unconscious when he was hit by an inmate and was taken to a hospital for treatment. Wilson said “he will be fine.”

Two correctional officers were treated at the prison infirmary for minor injuries.

Wilson said the incident began after officers went into a barracks and found contraband cell phones.

After leaving the barracks, the officers encountered a group of inmates leaving the dining hall and returning to their barracks and in the process of trying to separate several of those inmates that officials wanted to talk to in a hallway, one of the inmates struck an officer, which started the altercation.

Wilson said the Arkansas State Police were called to investigate the incident because correctional officers were injured, and the results of that investigation will be forwarded to Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter for his review.