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MCSO: Detention officer remains in coma after jail attack

October 31, 2019 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone says a detention officer remains in a coma and hospitalized in critical condition after being attacked by a jail inmate.

He says Officer Gene Lee was blindsided by an inmate around 8 a.m. Tuesday at the Lower Buckeye Jail.

Penzone says inmate Daniel Davitt grabbed Lee from behind by the throat without warning and kicked the officer’s feet out from under him.

Lee hit his head on the jail’s cement floor and was knocked unconscious before other officers rushed in to help the six-year veteran.

Penzone says the 59-year-old Davitt was in the process of being transferred to the Pinal County jail system before the unprovoked attack.

He says Davitt had been in MCSO custody for two years pending charges for sex crimes involving children.