ATTICA – A runaway prisoner injured seven correctional officers in a hand-to-hand combat in the Attica correctional facility two weeks ago, union officials said.
It was the most recent attack by inmates on officers in regional prisons, including Collins and Groveland.
Mark Deburgomaster, regional vice president of the NYS Correction Officers and Police Benevolent Association, said the attack occurred on June 18 when an officer was conducting a medical escort in a cell block.
He said the officer noticed an inmate at his cell door who appeared to be high or drunk.
The officer approached the cell door to check on the inmate. He had turned his head quickly to alert the medical staff when the inmate reached through the cell bars and stabbed the officer in the eye.
The officer called for reinforcements, and more officers came and opened the cell door.
The inmate immediately tried to beat several police officers, but it was unsuccessful. He was locked and handcuffed and taken to the infirmary for examination.
He was placed in a wheelchair in the infirmary because he continued to refuse personnel orders. In a wheelchair and still fighting, he tried to kick a nurse and pounced on the staff, Deburgomaster said.
Staff escorted him to a sick room in the infirmary. In the room he kicked an officer in the groin. Still fighting with the staff, he was placed in a hospital bed where he bit another officer in the calf.
After a brief struggle in the sickroom, the inmate became docile and was secured in the room.
All injured employees were initially taken care of by the facility’s medical staff.
One officer suffered from hip pain, knee swelling with restricted mobility, and shoulder pain with restricted mobility. He was transported to Erie County Medical Center for further treatment.
The sergeant was transported to the medical center because of a possible broken thumb. Six officers sustained various minor injuries while overcoming the inmate.
The 29-year-old inmate is serving a seven-year prison sentence after being convicted of second-degree gun possession in Westchester County.
After treatment in the infirmary, he was transferred to a special residential unit. He faces disciplinary proceedings in the attack.
“Another day, another attack on the staff,” said Deburgomaster. “The narrative doesn’t change a bit and will continue until DOCCs and our elected officials make the necessary policy changes to protect employees. Provide employees with meaningful tools that deter these violent, unprovoked attacks, many of which only occur when employees are simply trying to help inmates.
“Our members deserve a lot more protection than they currently receive.”
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