Union: 4 more COs injured by inmates at N.Y. prison

The officers were conducting routine frisks for contraband when they were attacked

Watertown Daily Times, N.Y.
GOUVERNEUR — The union that represents state correctional officers says four more officers at Gouverneur Correctional Facility have been injured during attacks by inmates.

On Sept. 21, the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association had reported that three officers required medical care at a local hospital after the inmate at the medium-security prison punched and attacked staff.

On Wednesday, the union said in a statement that four more officers were injured in two separate attacks as staff conducted routine frisks of inmates for contraband.

The union said the first attack occurred on Sept. 15 as staff were conducting a dorm frisk for contraband. An officer ordered an inmate to empty his pockets and the inmate complied, placing a latex glove fingertip and orange strip on his locker. The officer ordered the inmate outside of the dorm so a frisk could be conducted. Prior to the frisk, the inmate came off the wall and elbowed one officer in the forehead and kicked a second officer in the knee. The two officers grabbed the inmate in a body hold and forced him to the ground. On the ground, the officers were able to apply handcuffs and the inmate became compliant.

The inmate was escorted to the infirmary for evaluation. In the infirmary, the inmate became aggressive with staff again and handcuffs were reapplied until he became compliant.

Two officers were treated by facility medical staff for injuries in the incident. One officer sustained an abrasion and swelling to his knee. A second officer sustained left eye swelling, and shoulder and knee pain.

Both officers remained on duty and the inmate was placed in a Special Housing Unit pending disciplinary charges. The contraband the inmate was holding was identified as Suboxone.

The second attacked occurred on Sept. 18 according to the union. Staff were conducting a frisk for contraband on an inmate and when he was ordered to the wall, he ignored the orders. He turned and punched one officer in the face. He was grabbed by two officers in a body hold and forced to the ground, where he continued to be aggressive. Both officers were able to apply handcuffs and the inmate became compliant.

The inmate, 40, was removed from the area and placed in a Special Housing Unit pending disciplinary charges. He is serving a 11- to 13-year sentence after being convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and two counts of first-degree attempting to promote prison contraband in Onondaga County in 2014.

Two officers were injured in the incident. The officer who was punched in the face, sustained swelling to his chin and right knee pain. A second officer sustained shoulder pain subduing the inmate. Both were treated by facility medical staff and remained on duty.

"Almost on a daily basis, we are reporting another attack on staff in our state prisons, yet despite our calls for more staffing and resources to combat the attacks, there is nothing but silence from DOCCS administration," Bryan Hluska, Central Region vice president for NYSCOBA, said in the statement. "These attacks, along with the daily seizures of drugs and weapons, will continue until DOCCS addresses the systemic problem that exists."
(c)2021 Watertown Daily Times (Watertown, N.Y.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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