Two California Men’s Colony correctional officers are in the hospital recovering from slash wounds to their heads and necks after being attacked by an inmate Tuesday morning, according to prison officials.
Inmate William Mikeworth, 39, used a toothbrush handle sharpened into a knife to slice one officer in the head and neck several times about 10 a.m. Tuesday in the prison’s medium-security yard, according to a news release issued by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
An alarm alerted other officers to the attack, and responding officers used physical force and batons to subdue Mikeworth, according to the release. During the altercation, a second officer was injured, also cut on the head and neck.
CMC Lt. Bob Furster said assaults on officers are not uncommon, but added that Tuesday’s attack was deliberately intended to kill.
“Based on evidence collected and staff observations, this is clear attempted murder as opposed to battery,” Furster said.
Both officers are expected to recover and are considered in good condition.
CMC is a medium/minimum-security prison housing 4,917 inmates off Highway 1 outside San Luis Obispo.
Mikeworth, from San Bernardino, is serving a nine-year term for assault with a deadly weapon and has been housed at California Men’s Colony since Feb. 18, 2013. He has been in state prison since Sept. 9, 2008.
The case is being investigated as attempted murder by investigators at California Men’s Colony and the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office.
Mikeworth is being kept in segregation, away from other inmates and staff during the investigation. He has a history of assaulting prison staff, Furster said.