Inmate booked after two on facility staff stabbed

An inmate at Mesa County Community Corrections is accused of inflicting minor injuries on two staff members after stabbing them with sewing scissors.

Paul Savage, 22, was booked into Mesa County Jail on Friday on suspicion of three counts of first-degree assault. The incident was reported around 1:25 p.m. at the Community Corrections facility at 650 South Ave., Grand Junction police Sgt. Kevin Imbriaco said.

Police spokeswoman Kate Porras said the incident occurred as Savage was being searched before being taken to the jail.

Savage had been serving a sentence in community corrections stemming from a January 2010 conviction for sexual assault on a child, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records.

Staff members alleged that while he was being searched Friday, Savage took cash out of a pants pocket along with the metal scissors, which were “small enough to be concealed with a fist,” Imbriaco said.

Two of three staff members involved in the incident suffered cuts, including a scratch to an upper arm and a small scratch along the left side of the stomach, Imbriaco said.

Nobody was hospitalized.

An arrest affidavit in the case was not released Saturday because it wasn’t complete, Imbriaco said.

Wounded in the incident were Steven Chin and Curtis Pecot, both Community Corrections case managers, according to Arlene Rhodes, program manager for Community Corrections.

A third employee, Sophat Sem, rushed to assist his colleagues but wasn’t hurt. Sem is a criminal justice officer whose duties include oversight of the building’s daily operations, Rhodes said.

Chin and Pecot were in a secured room with Savage, who appeared agitated while emptying his pockets on a table. He was being sent to jail because of a disciplinary violation, Rhodes said. She declined to elaborate.

Community Corrections allows clients to come and go at the facility while holding down jobs or receiving treatment from various providers.

Scissors are considered contraband, but Community Corrections clients are not routinely searched when leaving or returning to the facility, Rhodes said.

Searches are conducted at random, she said.

According to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records, Savage’s criminal history in Colorado includes arrests in Grand Junction dating to 2007 on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a weapon by a prior offender and menacing.


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