Inmate injures 2 officers at Central New York prison

“Staff assaults, drugs and weapons are a recurrent theme at Mohawk Correctional Facility,” said union VP Bryan Hluska


By Catie O'Toole
syracuse.com
        
Rome, N.Y. — Two officers were injured this weekend at a Central New York prison when one tried to frisk an inmate trying to hide something as he left the bathroom, an official with the officers’ union said.

An officer assigned to the visitors room Sunday at Mohawk Correctional Facility in Rome, Oneida County, approached the inmate after he saw him trying to conceal an item.

He told the inmate to step outside the visitor’s room so he could be frisked, but the inmate refused and shoved the officer, according to the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association.

“Staff assaults, drugs and weapons are a recurrent theme at Mohawk Correctional Facility,” said Bryan Hluska of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association.
“Staff assaults, drugs and weapons are a recurrent theme at Mohawk Correctional Facility,” said Bryan Hluska of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association. (Michael Greenlar)

The inmate also tried to punch the officer, but the officer avoided getting hit and put the inmate in a body hold and forced him to the floor, the union said in a news release.

“On the floor, the inmate continued to fight and be combative,” the release said.

A second officer pepper-sprayed the inmate, and officers were able to put handcuffs on him. But during the scuffle, the officers were injured, union officials said.

Medical staff at the facility treated the officers for arm, knee and elbow pain. Both officers, who were not identified, remained on duty.

Officers searched the inmate and found five plastic bundles in his underwear; the five bundles contained a green leafy substance believed to be synthetic marijuana, according to the union.

The inmate was placed in a Special Housing Unit pending disciplinary charges.

Visitor at prison arrested

In addition to the assault, a visitor also was arrested this weekend at Mohawk Correctional Facility.

The Albany woman, whose name was not released, was charged with second-degree promoting prison contraband on Saturday after investigators found four balloons hidden in her pants. The balloons contained synthetic marijuana, commonly known as K2, union officials said.

The woman was at the medium security facility to visit an inmate. After she was questioned by staff, she admitted to bringing in drugs and voluntarily turned them over to staff, according to the union. The woman was then taken to state police barracks in Marcy.

Weapons found in inmate’s cell

Mohawk Correctional Facility staff also recovered four weapons from an inmate’s cell during a routine search on Friday, officials said. Two cutting-type instruments and two ice pick-type weapons were found hidden inside the cell.

That inmate also was placed in a Special Housing Unit pending disciplinary charges.

“Staff assaults, drugs and weapons are a recurrent theme at Mohawk Correctional Facility,” said Bryan Hluska, central region vice president for New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association. “The details of the incidents might be different each time, but they still paint the same picture — a facility plagued with assaults, drugs and weapons that needs to be addressed by (Department of Corrections and Community Supervision) DOCCS.”

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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