A Pennington County Jail inmate has been charged after he allegedly pushed a medication cart into a corrections officer and then rammed the cart into a jail pod entrance door. The incident occurred a day after two corrections officers were injured in an attempted escape.
Paul Gregory Piche, 35, has been charged with gross misdemeanor third-degree criminal damage to property. He remains incarcerated.
The corrections officer was scraped by the cart, according to the complaint. He described the injury as a “little foot scrape” to the sheriff’s investigator.
This was the second incident involving an unruly inmate at the jail in as many days. About 19 hours earlier, inmate Eric James Reinbold allegedly assaulted two corrections officers in an attempt to escape from custody.
At the time of the latest incident, Piche was incarcerated for felony second-degree attempted murder – intentional, felony first-degree assault – great bodily harm, felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, and gross misdemeanor harassment. Those charges stemmed from a May 23 incident in which Piche is accused of following a woman and her children from the City of Thief River Falls to Seven Clans Casino, Hotel, and Water Park. After he was confronted by the woman’s husband, Piche allegedly intentionally rear-ended the man’s motorcycle with his pickup truck. The man bailed from the motorcycle, and Piche then struck the man with his pickup truck, causing the man’s body to fly into a ditch. The man suffered a fractured arm and severely bruised ribs.
The latest charge stemmed from an incident at about 4:32 p.m. Sunday, June 5 at the jail. Piche allegedly became angry after the corrections officer was unable to locate the over-the-counter medication that Piche wanted from the medication cart. Due to Piche’s agitation, he asked Piche to calm down. Piche then began shoving the medication cart into the corrections officer and ramming it against the entrance to Alpha Pod. The cart top broke off, and a side lid also broke. The corrections officer was able to keep the cart from tipping over.
After hearing the commotion, another corrections officer entered Alpha Pod and pointed her Taser at Piche, who ran back into his jail cell and closed the door. He then yelled at the corrections officers.
The cart, which costs about $1,000, is unable to be fully secured.