Alva Review-Courier -

Woman charged in assault of JCCC officer


September 11, 2019

After a K-9 alerted on her to an odor of illegal drugs, a California woman fled the lobby of James Crabtree Correctional Center (JCCC) in Helena.

Court documents show the incident occurred on Sunday, Aug. 25, about 1 p.m. Tenishia Swearengin was attempting to visit an inmate during the scheduled visitation time. Following a pat search of Swearengin, Sergeant Jackie Ekman with K-9 Yukon conducted an open air sniff. The K-9 displayed a positive indication to the odor of illegal drugs on or about Swearengin.

Ekman directed Swearengin to have a seat in the lobby. According to Ekman, Swearengin began to run toward the exit door. Ekman reached for her arm, but Swearengin turned and shoved Ekman to the side.

Swearengin then ran across the parking lot to enter a silver four-door Toyota. Ekman drove her ODOC vehicle and attempted to block Swearengin from exiting the parking lot at JCCC. Swearengin drove around Ekman’s vehicle and went south on the perimeter road. She drove around the yellow crash barrier, crossing into a neighboring yard and drove south away from the prison property.

At 1:36 p.m. Alfalfa County Deputy Diego Gutierrez and Sheriff Rick Wallace located Swearengin near Aline Road and County Road 660 near Helena. She was arrested and transported to the Alfalfa County Jail.

DOC Intelligence Agent William Barnum interviewed Swearengin at the Alfalfa County Jail. After being read the Miranda Warning and voluntarily agreeing to waive her rights, Swearengin denied shoving Ekman. She admitted that she ran from JCCC because she did not want to be searched by correctional staff.

Tenishia Tenique Swearengin, 41, of Palmdale, California, has been charged with assault and battery on a police officer, a felony. This crime is punishable by a fine of up to $500 or imprisonment for up to five years, or both.


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