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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Corrections Union:
Six officers injured during violent inmate attack at Attica Correctional

Inmate attacked as officers
prepared to search his prison cell

By MATT SURTEL msurtel@batavianews.com

Six officers were treated for injuries last month after an inmate attack at Attica Correctional Facility, according to the state corrections officers union. The incident happened April 20 when two officers were about to conduct a “cell frisk,” said New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association officials in a news release.

The officers ordered an inmate to exit the cell, according to NYSCOPBA. As the door was opened, the inmate jumped up from his bed and ran to the back of the cell, allegedly trying to flush an object down the toilet.

The two officers entered the cell and confronted the inmate, who allegedly struck one officer in the side of the face. The officers called for help and began to struggle with him. Two additional officers arrived, the NYSCOPBA said. One administered pepper spray which had no effect.

The four officers grabbed the inmate in a body hold and brought him to the ground. He allegedly continued to struggle and fight violently, and was placed in handcuffs with help from additional staff.

The inmate, 28, was removed from the cell and placed in a Special Housing Unit pending disciplinary proceedings. He is serving a two-to-five year sentence after being convicted in 2019 of third-degree robbery and second-degree criminal mischief in Bronx County.

A search of the inmate’s cell recovered a razor blade from the floor near the toilet, NYSCOPBA officials said.

The three officers were transported by ambulance to an area hospital which was not identified. The officer who was punched suffered swelling and pain to his forehead and the right side of his head. He also suffered hand and knee abrasions and was nauseous. He was treated and released, and did not return to duty.

Two additional officers also were treated for swelling and pain to their head and forehead. They were treated and released. Three other officers were treated by facility medical staff for pain and abrasions to their extremities sustained while subduing the inmate.

The announcement comes one day after NYSCOPBA filed a lawsuit against the state.

“Yesterday NYSCOPBA announced a federal civil rights lawsuit over the HALT legislation specifically because of situations like this,” the union officials said. “An inmate, serving a relatively short sentence, violently attacking and injuring six officers while attempting to hide contraband.

“The disciplinary system is so watered down at this point, beyond the county district attorney prosecuting the inmate, the internal controls that currently exist are a mere slap on the wrist,” they continued. “(The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision) at the very least needs to pursue criminal charges in this incident.”

Another violent incident occurred a few days later at Five Points Correctional Facility in Seneca County. An inmate kicked and spit at an officer, who was stuck in eye by the inmate’s saliva and needed to be treated at a hospital for exposure.

“These are real life dangerous situations our members have to face every day,” said Western Region Vice President Mark Deburgomaster of NYSCOPBA. “Our elected officials who pushed through HALT, either do not want to grasp that or certainly fail to.”

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