Suspect who escaped hospital with broken leg attacks officer at Jackson County jail

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An Independence inmate allegedly attacked an officer Tuesday afternoon at the Jackson County jail, a day after he was arrested for escaping a hospital with a broken leg following a police chase.

The alleged assault on the officer happened around 2:30 p.m. when an Independence officer was transporting inmates to the Jackson County Detention Center.

Diana Turner, director of the jail, said the officer parked the transport vehicle with five inmates inside. When he opened the van to allow two of the inmates out, one of them allegedly attacked him from behind, throwing him to the ground and putting him into a chokehold.

The inmate was identified as 31-year-old Derick J. Peknik, who then allegedly took the officer's keys and attempted to escape in the van with three inmates still inside.

Additional officers responded and were able to stop Peknik from taking the van.

Both the officer, who has not been identified, and Peknik were taken to an area hospital.

The officer is reported to have minor injuries. Peknik's injuries are unknown at this time.

"This was a crucial security issue for us," Turner said. "This is exactly the thing we are concerned about at the jail and we want the community to know that we are on point and taking measure to insure the community's safety and we take that very seriously."

Peknik was first suspected of shoplifting from a store on 39th Street on May 23, according to the Independence Police Department.

When police tried to stop Peknik, he allegedly rammed a police car and fled from the officers, according to the post. He later tried to carjack three other vehicles, but he was unsuccessful.

Sometime during the altercation, police say Peknik broke his leg. It's unclear how his leg was broken.

Peknik was taken to a nearby hospital. He then escaped and was believed to be armed and dangerous. He was reported to be in custody just after 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Jackson County prosecutors will decide if additional charges will be filed for Peknik.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident.

This is a developing story. FOX4 will keep you updated as new details becomes available.

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