Sheriff: Jefferson County jail inmate uses rubber-tipped pen as weapon

Man says he was attacked for no apparent reason

PORT HADLOCK — A 21-year-old man incarcerated in January for allegedly assaulting his 77-year-old grandmother has been charged with attacking a 71-year-old inmate with a rubber-tipped pen at the Jefferson County Jail.

Port Hadlock resident Atticus Colter Burrows was charged last week with second-degree assault in connection with the Feb. 16 attack on John Frank Kelly, who was treated at Jefferson Healthcare hospital and discharged, Sheriff Joe Nole said.

Burrows’ bail on the charge was set at $50,000 at a preliminary appearance Thursday and an arraignment date was set for this coming Friday.

Burrows’ bail is set at $150,000 on robbery and first-degree assault charges involving his grandmother Jan. 13.

A mental competency evaluation on the charge involving Burrows’ grandmother had determined Burrows was capable of standing trial.

An agreed order for another competency evaluation on both cases will be submitted by the county Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and Jefferson Associated Counsel, according to a filing Friday in Superior Court.

A jail video of the incident involving Kelly was “pretty explanatory” in depicting the attack, Nole said.

“In the video, you can see inmate Atticus Burrows come out of his cell, pick up a jail-safe pen and attack Kelly with no apparent provocation,” according to the probable cause statement by reporting sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Denney.

“Burrows walks to the back side of Kelly who is sitting at the dayroom table watching TV.

“Burrows wraps his left arm around Kelly’s head and pulls him toward the floor while stabbing Kelly repeatedly in the head.”

The next day, Kelly said he was hurt but nothing was broken, the court statement says.

“His face was swollen, especially his right eye and the surrounding area,” according to the statement.

“He said that Burrows just attacked him for no apparent reason.”

Nole said last week it appeared Burrows was trying to stab Kelly’s eye.

Burrows declined to answer questions or provide a statement, Denney said.

Nole said the pen was a rubbery implement made available to inmates.

He said he will review safety issues surrounding the availability of the pens to inmates.

“That’s the only kind of writing implement that’s there,” Nole said.

“Short of not giving them anything, I don’t know what we would be able to do.

“To my knowledge, that’s the first time something like this has happened, where someone used one for a weapon.”

The Sheriff’s Office posted a description of the attack Tuesday on its Facebook page.

County public records officer Ken Hugoniot said Friday the county, under advice of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, would not release the video to Peninsula Daily News, which sought the recording under a public records request.

Hugoniot cited a state Public Records Act exemption from disclosure for “records containing specific and unique vulnerability assessments or specific and unique emergency and escape response plans.”

The assault on Burrows’ grandmother was reported Jan. 13.

Based on a report by the woman’s neighbor, deputies went to her Old Hadlock Road apartment, discovering blood throughout the unit, according to the probable cause statement.

The woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with a head wound that included exposed brain tissue, according to the statement.

She was released from the hospital Jan. 15.

Burrows, living in a tent within 800 feet of the residence, allegedly attacked the woman while she was lying in bed, saying, “You are not my grandma,” according to the probable cause statement.


Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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