Jail Brawl Injures Six at Somerset County Facility
Two inmates and four officers were hurt in altercation.
A total of six people were taken to the hospital after they were injured at the Somerset County Jail Friday when several inmates allegedly assaulted another prisoner, according to the Somerset County Sheriff's Office.
According to Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano, two inmates and four corrections officers were injured in the alleged fight.
James Ford, 36, of Phillipsburg, and Elijah Ford, 23, of Pennsylvania, were accused in the assault, and are already being held in the jail on homicide charges from Bound Brook. Elijah Ford, Provenzano said, was treated at Somerset Medical Center and returned to the jail Saturday.
Alex Ortega, 20, of Plainfield, was also accused in the assault, and is already being held in the jail on homicide charges from Franklin, while Nicholas Soto, 20, of Manville, who was also charged in the assault, is serving a 364-day sentence for theft from Somerville.
Provenzano said officers observed the accused inmates as they were assaulting another at 10 p.m. Aug. 24. When the officers intervened, Provenzano said, at least two of the inmates involved allegedly assaulted one of the officers.
As for other injuries sustained by the officers, Provenzano said, they may have occurred while they were trying to overcome the resistance of the inmates during the fight.
Inmate Julio Freza, 38, of Elizabeth, was being held at the jail on robbery charges from Franklin Township. He was treated at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, Provenzano said, and returned to the jail Sunday.
Sgt. Sonny Shea and Cpl. Ruben Crespo were treated for their injuries at Somerset Medical Center and released, Provenzano said. Officers Michael Miller and Daniel Hribik were injured, Provenzano said, but did not seek treatment.
The matter is being investigated by the Somerset County Sheriff's Office.