Sheriff Clarke speaks out on assault against corrections officers

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Three corrections officers were injured while attempting to restrain a 43-year-old inmate on Tuesday morning, February 25th at the Milwaukee County Jail. Sheriff David Clarke is now speaking out on the incident.

"Once he gets his hands around my officer's throat, to me, that is deadly force," said Sheriff Clarke. "I expect my officers to defend themselves with all of the aggressiveness and ferociousness of a junkyard dog."

In surveillance video released by the Milwaukee County Sheriff, Leopoldo Santos-Fernandez is seen throwing punches and lunging toward several corrections officers. The suspect allegedly crossed over into the officers' work area during breakfast Tuesday morning.

"We created a safety zone. No inmate is allowed inside that safety zone. And it goes all the way around," explained Sheriff Clarke.

Sheriff Clarke says Santos-Fernandez refused to return to his cell and became combative. An officer is seen deploying his taser in the surveillance video, but it didn't stick.

It took the strength of three officials to physically restrain Santos-Fernandez. After securing their own areas, a large group of officers arrived to secure the area of incident.

"I want as many officers that can get there as possible in a short period of time. It prevents further injury to the inmate and to my officer," said Sheriff Clarke.

On officer was treated for a torn tendon in his arm and has not returned to work. The two other officers involved are back to work. One suffered a scratch to his face and a the other an injury to his forearm.

Santos-Fernandez has been in custody since last May. He is facing charges of attempted first degree intentional homicide. According to a criminal complaint, Santos-Fernandez allegedly tried to slash his roommate's throat with a kitchen knife.

The suspect now faces two additional charges for battery to law enforcement officers.