Yakima corrections division & loved ones raise funds for officer’s recovery from violent beating

Yakima
Image credit: Opsahl Family Assistance Fund — GoFundMe via Kimberly Colucci

YAKIMA, Wash. —The corrections officer who was assaulted by an inmate at the Yakima County Jail last week is being discharged from a crowded Seattle-area hospital with serious injuries to his face.

KAPP KVEW spoke with Captain Jay Seely of the Yakima Police Department, who confirmed that Corrections Officer Edward Opsahl is leaving Harborview Medical Center in Seattle to stay with a family friend while he recovers.

“When I initially got the call, he was not surviving the event,” Cpt. Seely said. “That’s the worst call anybody can get in the administration.”

Officer Opsahl was assaulted by a 37-year-old inmate of the Yakima County Jail while checking their cell on Thursday, November 11.

The inmate, who was wearing a ring, fractured both of the officer’s eye sockets, his jaw and several parts of his nose. Cpt. Seely believes that Officer Opsahl may have suffered a skull fracture as well.

PREVIOUS: Yakima jail officer in critical condition after ‘severe assault’ by inmate

The victim underwent successful surgery to repair his jaw on Tuesday. He’s expected to be discharged on Wednesday after spending a portion of his stay in a Harborview hallway because of the hospital’s high demand.

“They’re going to allow him to leave and go stay with friends over there while he’s healing,” Cpt. Seely said. “That’ll give him access to his multiple follow-up appointments that he’s going to have for his, probably, upcoming surgeries as well.”

Officer Osahl’s family is staying with friends in Snohomish County, according to a GoFundMe created to support his recovery. While their colleague recovers from his injuries, other YPD officers are tending to his farm and feeding his animals as the family focuses on his recovery.

A significant portion of the recovery costs won’t be covered by insurance. Officer Opsahl and his loved ones will have to jump through hoops with WA Labor & Industries to receive financial assistance through these trying times.

FIRST REPORT: Inmate violently assaults corrections officer at Yakima jail

Instead of waiting to see how that turns out, the officer’s colleagues and loved ones are taking matters into their own hands.

“His corrections staff did set up a fund,” Cpt. Seely said. “They are setting up a fund to help offset the medical costs, and again, remember [that] his family is staying over there as well and they’re incurring costs…

“They did set up a GoFundMe [and] some way of Venmoing money to the family.”

The Venmo option was set up by the Yakima Police Corrections division, which can be accessed using the QR code in the tweet above. Additionally, payments can be made to @Opy-Recovery-fund on the Venmo app.

His fellow corrections officers also set up an account with Wheatland Bank, which is accepting donations for the injured officer and his loved ones.

Last, but certainly not least, is the GoFundMe which benefits Officer Opsahl and his family members (click here).

Facing dire circumstances and hefty hospital costs, Officer Opsahl and his loved ones are focused on making sure he can stay safe and healthy. With that in mind, there’s no timetable for when—or if—he will return to law enforcement.

READ: Southeastern Washington absent from Gov. Inslee’s police accountability advisory board

“We don’t know if he plans to come back to work and we don’t know how long this is going to take; this healing process,” Cpt. Seely said. “I would anticipate this is going to probably take the better part of a year to get him back to full functioning and the healing process.”

Whether or not he returns, Officer Opsahl has a community rallying behind him in his fight to a full recovery.

In the meanwhile, police investigators and prosecutors are working to gather more information, hold the assailant accountable, and make changes to prevent something like this from happening in the future.

RECENT HEADLINES FROM THE KAPP KVEW NEWS STAFF: