County jail inmate sprays guard with pepper spray during scuffle

2013-07-30T20:15:00Z County jail inmate sprays guard with pepper spray during scuffleBy Tony Lystra / The Daily News Longview Daily News
July 30, 2013 8:15 pm  • 

A Cowlitz County Jail officer was blasted in the face with her own pepper spray after an inmate snatched it from her belt during a struggle Saturday, authorities said.

A Cowlitz County Sheriff’s deputy wrote in a report that he was at the jail when he heard jail officer Tina M. Huft “excitedly” call for help over a radio. The deputy and jail staff rushed into a nearby room, where they found Huft, red in the face with her eyes swollen shut, and 19-year-old inmate Jeran R. Applefield irate and screaming, according to the report.

Authorities said Huft had been trying to handcuff Applefield and move her to a different cell when Applefield “slipped the handcuffs” and attacked. Huft “performed a defensive tactic that placed (Applefield) to her side,” according to the report. Applefield then snatched the pepper spray off Huft’s belt and sprayed the officer in the face with it.

Huft, 43, was spitting and coughing but was otherwise uninjured.

Applefield, of Longview, admitted to spraying the officer and said she was “trying to get away.”

A Superior Court Judge on Monday found probable cause to charge Applefield with custodial assault and second-degree attempted escape.

Copyright 2016 Longview Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(17) Comments

  1. what the
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    what the - July 31, 2013 7:00 am
    sounds like the correction officer should be re trained or find another job.
  2. severlynorm
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    severlynorm - July 31, 2013 2:15 pm
    Never turn your back on a prisoner. Thats guard training 101. she should have paid more attention to her F.T.O. (Field Training Officer). Violence at the jail could be greatly reduced. Just stop looking inside the box or the Jail, the ansewers are not there.
  3. what the
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    what the - July 31, 2013 2:16 pm
    thank god it wasn't her gun. hope they don't allow her to carry one. according to policy and procedure at the jail she broke procedure. when securing an inmate she should have called for backup first. lots of people could have gotten hurt including putting other officers at risk
  4. ProudKelsoMom
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    ProudKelsoMom - July 31, 2013 2:40 pm
    Apparently, there was an error made by the officer BUT officers are humans just like us & sometimes mistakes happen. I'm just glad that nobody was seriously hurt.
  5. I can't believe it's not butter
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    I can't believe it's not butter - July 31, 2013 4:06 pm
    Maby if Guards treated inmates with respect this type of stuff wouldn't happen
  6. Caren Larsen Teigen
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    Caren Larsen Teigen - August 01, 2013 4:46 am
    I'm shocked that none of these comments blame the inmate? Clearly this is assaulting an officer. You people aren't aware of the training this officer had.
  7. youpick
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    youpick - August 01, 2013 6:45 am
    WOW...can't believe how many armchair quarterbacks there are out there. How many of you have been in a similar situation? Pretty easy for you to say what she should have done differently from where you sit reading your paper. I challenge any one of you to do her job for one day. Interesting that it is ALWAYS the officer's fault in this county. Probably why we have so much crime, because we keep blaming others for their actions instead of making them responsible!
  8. cowlitzcountyinformation
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    cowlitzcountyinformation - August 01, 2013 8:54 am
    What the: Did you get the jail policy and procedure information from??? your morning cereal?
  9. cowlitzcountyinformation
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    cowlitzcountyinformation - August 01, 2013 8:56 am
    I can't believe it's not butter: they're not? Have you been there? Or just another opinionated tdn.com commenter?
  10. cowlitzcountyinformation
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    cowlitzcountyinformation - August 01, 2013 9:00 am
    Caren Larsen Teigen: You are correct! The inmate was attempting to ESCAPE ! The inmate chose to slip the cuff, grab an officers oc spray and use it on the officer! This just didn't happen............sounds like she had a plan and was willing to do anything to follow it through. As far as training..........have you noticed the Cowlitz County Budget cut articles?
  11. cowlitzcountyinformation
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    cowlitzcountyinformation - August 01, 2013 9:03 am
    youpick, It is always easier to analyze and critique after the fact. Unfortunately some individuals are reluctant to say they are at fault, even when it clearly is.
  12. cowlitzcountyinformation
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    cowlitzcountyinformation - August 01, 2013 10:59 am
    severlynorm: Never turn your back on a prisoner? It's impossible to watch every inmate, when there's over fifty out at a time milling around the areas. Guard training 101? FTO training? Violence at the jail could be greatly reduced? how? I'm curious........... Stop looking inside the box/jail? please explain.
  13. cowlitzcountyinformation
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    cowlitzcountyinformation - August 01, 2013 11:05 am
    What the: What the? When a group is under staffed, under trained, not managed and about to explode, incidents are going to happen! They do the best they can, with what they have. Have a chat with a correction officer, they will tell you!
    The jails daily population is on the county jail site, approx. 300 inmates a day average. 300 hundred inmates vs 5 officers on staff. You do the math. And it's only going to get worse!
  14. Bagheera
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    Bagheera - August 01, 2013 8:00 pm
    Part 2. This, to me, shows great restraint and professionalism on the part of Huft as well as the other Corrections Officers that must have responded to the attack. Ask any law enforcement-type person what they would do if they were blinded by someone trying to escape. My guess, and my option, would be anything goes in a life or death self-defense situation.
  15. Bagheera
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    Bagheera - August 01, 2013 8:00 pm
    Part 1. These Corrections Officers face this every day. Just take a look at in-custody assaults from across the county. This is not rare. This can happen to anyone in this line of work. Training will only take you so far. Preplanned attacks by motivated convicts with no regard for the well-being of others would be very hard to overcome. What should have stuck in your mind is the fact that there was no mention of injuries to the assaultive female.
  16. Bagheera
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    Bagheera - August 01, 2013 9:19 pm
    Sorry Caren Larsen Teigen, this was meant for "what the"
  17. SkiBum
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    SkiBum - August 04, 2013 11:34 pm
    With all of the wonderful citizens who end up in the jail, I can't believe they even need guards. According to recent articles, most people down at the jail are just normal people like you and me who are simply having a bad day. We should give them all a new Xbox 360, a four course steak dinner, and a free taxi ride home. Give me a break fellow posters! I know a great spot down at the river where the jail key would sink quite nicely. Lock them up and toss it in. No sympathy from me...sorry!
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