16 inmates charged in beating of 4 Mass. COs
All four officers were hospitalized after being beaten and kicked by a group of inmates last month
WORCESTER COUNTY, Mass. — Sixteen inmates of the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center were indicted Thursday in connection with last month’s attack that left four corrections officers injured, the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office announced.
The Worcester County grand jury handed up 109 indictments in total. All four corrections officers were hospitalized as a result of the attack, and only one has returned to work.
All 16 inmates are being charged on a joint venture theory with two counts of assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, and four counts of assault and battery on a corrections officer.
Those facing only those charges are: Tabari Muhammed, 28; Frank Webb, 28; Marcus Muniz, 25; Steven Gonzalez, 39; Israel Perez, 25; and Lennon Dossantos, 25.
Inmates facing additional charges are:
Jovani Molinari, 23, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot);
Giovanni Buchanan, 25, aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot) and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot);
Carlos Bastos, 29, aggravated kidnapping;
Elosko Brown, 33, aggravated kidnapping and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot);
Yamil Narvaez Arroyo, 24, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot);
Alexander Soto, 26, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (wooden cane);
Jason Velez Acosta, 29, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot);
John Mentor, 33, aggravated kidnapping;
Joshua Reyes, 28, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot); and
Pedro Solis, 30, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot).
The inmates will be arraigned in Worcester Superior Court on future dates.
The case is being investigated by the Massachusetts State Police and Department of Correction.
“DOC personnel work every day to provide a safe environment for inmates, staff, visitors, and volunteers,” a DOC spokeswoman said in a statement on Thursday. “We are relieved that the injured officers are recovering and will support District Attorney (Joseph) Early’s office with their investigation as necessary.”
The maximum-security prison in Shirley went into lockdown for several days after the Jan. 10 attack.
A video of the incident released by DOC shows inmates punching one guard, then swarming the other officers as they jumped in to help.
In the wake of the attack, inmates claim in a lawsuit that they’ve been denied access to their lawyers and collectively punished for the attack. On Jan. 31, three inmates, the Committee for Public Counsel Services and the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed a lawsuit claiming that corrections officers denied prisoners access to their attorneys and confiscated court papers from them in retribution for the attack.
DOC has refuted the inmates’ claims, saying more than 100 attorney visits have taken place since the attack.
- Arrests & Sentencing