A Calhoun County corrections officer was attempting to restrain an inmate at the Calhoun County Jail when the inmate decided to spit in the officer’s face. The officer now faces charges of Assault and Battery.

According to the Calhoun County Office of the Sheriff, it all began September 6th, 2021, when inmate Keir Watson was in a 5-point restraint chair and being monitored by staff after signals of self-harm.

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Watson was being held on a parole detainer authorized by the Department of Corrections. During his restraint, Watson managed to get out of the left-arm restraint and unsecure the left shoulder strap. Two corrections officers then entered the cell, including corrections Sergeant Jeffrey Worden. During the process of trying to secure Watson, Sergeant Worden attempted to get Watson to comply and secure him in the chair. There was a struggle that resulted in the chair tipping over. When Sergeant Worden picked up the chair, Watson spits in Worden's face. At that time, Sergeant Worden struck Watson, who continued to spit at Worden.

According to the Calhoun County Office of the Sheriff press release, “After Watson was properly secure in the chair; the strikes from Worden against the inmate are distinctly against Calhoun County Jail policies.”

Sheriff Steve Hinkley said, "All members of this agency are responsible for conducting themselves in a manner that reflects the ethical standards and rules contained in this agency's policies. This violation of those procedures and does not represent the expectations our staff must meet as stewards of the inmates in this facility."

As a result of the confrontation, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office made a request to the Michigan Sheriff’s Association to assign outside investigators who specialize in corrections-type investigations. Michigan Sheriff’s Special Investigation Operations Network investigators were assigned.

On September 23rd, during a termination hearing after the investigation into the use of force, correction officer Sergeant Jeffrey Worden submitted his resignation.

As a result of the investigation, the Calhoun County Prosecutors Office issued criminal charges on corrections Sergeant Jeffrey Worden for assault and battery.

Keir Watson was not injured during the incident and has since been returned to the Department of Corrections.

This isn’t the first time Watson chose to spit on a corrections staff member. He chose to spit on a staff member while at the Calhoun County Jail during an investigation involving malicious destruction of property.

You can view the video of the incident.

Photo: Calhoun County Office of the Sheriff

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