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Man accused of throwing chair at, punching corrections officer inside St. Louis Justice Center

The employee suffered multiple facial fractures and will require reconstructive surgery.

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis man was charged with assaulting a corrections officer at the St. Louis City Justice Center over the weekend.

Elvine Dethrow, 43, was charged with second-degree assault of a special victim in connection with the May 28 incident.

According to charging documents, a Justice Center employee was escorting Dethrow to a cell in the prisoner processing area. When they arrived at the door of the cell, Dethrow hit the employee with a chair and punched the employee in the face, charging documents stated.

The employee suffered multiple facial fractures and will require reconstructive surgery.

According to online court records, Dethrow was on probation after pleading guilty to one count of first-degree stalking out of St. Louis County. The charging documents did not say why he was being booked into the City Justice Center on May 28.

Dethrow is being held without bond pending a trial.

The incident is the latest in a list of incidents at the Justice Center.

In the past year, detainees have been able to get out of their cells at least five times by jamming locks full of toilet paper and toothpaste.

Acting public safety director Dan Isom spoke about the lock issue following the July 2021 incidents.

"It's not uncommon for locks to be defeated,” said Isom. "The problem is we've allowed these locks to be in this condition for 20 years."

This May, Corrections Commissioner Jennifer Clemons-Abdullah gave 5 On Your Side a look at upgrades made to the Justice Center. 

RELATED: 'The locks work': St. Louis corrections commissioner expects to move inmates into newly-renovated space this week

New guard stations above the inmates, new doors and new locks were part of about $7 million city leaders have spent trying to prevent the multiple riots that happened at the City Justice Center in downtown St. Louis from playing out again.

5 On Your Side's Christine Byers contributed to this report.

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