WSP: 100+ Monroe inmates threaten to set fires in ‘major disturbance’

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MONROE, Wash. -- More than 100 prisoners threatened to set fires and take officers hostage Wednesday night at the Monroe Correctional Complex, according to police.

The Washington State Patrol told Q13 News that there was a "major disturbance" inside the facility around 6:00 p.m.

"All measures to bring individuals into compliance were ignored including verbal directives, pepper (OC) spray and sting balls, which release light, noise, and rubber pellet," the Department of Corrections wrote in a news release.

No injuries were reported. WSP was called to the scene to assist Monroe Police and the Department of Corrections. The situation was under control, officials said around 9:00 p.m.

Officials say they believe the incident was caused due to recent positive test results of COVID-19 within the correctional complex.

Earlier in the day, health authorities reported that two more inmates tested positive for COVID-19. The men are ages 28 and 68.

The Department of Corrections said 111 inmates who were housed in the same minimum-security unit with the two men were placed on isolation as a precaution.

A total of six men at the Monroe facility have tested positive for coronavirus.

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