A corrections officer at the Jackson County Detention Center was in critical condition Thursday after being assaulted late Wednesday while on duty. An inmate, Johnny R. Dunlap, 20, faces charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action, according to Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.
Kansas City police were called to Truman Medical Center about 10:40 p.m., Wednesday. The victim was sedated and unable to provide a statement, but medical staff told officers he had several fractures to facial bones, nasal bones and damage to his right sinus. He also suffered bleeding on the brain. The injuries were considered life-threatening.
Court documents indicate that Dunlap was in Pod C of the detention center, where the victim was on duty. Detectives who investigated reviewed surveillance video and spoke with inmates, one of whom slipped a note to the officers saying he witnessed the assault and identifying Dunlap as the assailant.
The video and witness statements showed the corrections officer being assaulted with a variety of items, including a plastic cone, in an attack that lasted for about eight minutes. The victim was unconscious during much of the assault.
Detectives interviewed Dunlap, who told them he assaulted the officer "due to pent up anger toward his perception of racism." He also claimed he suffered mental health issues and heard voices telling him to go get the officer.
He later said he would like to apologize to the victim if he survives.
Prosecutors requested a bond of $250,000. The charges carry a punishment of up to life in prison.