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Inmate attacks 6 corrections officers, hospitalizing 4, in N.Y. facility

The incident has spurred the CO union to reignite calls for stricter provisions for inmates that act out violently



By Joe LoTemplio
The Press-Republican

MALONE, M.Y. — Six correction officers were injured in a recent incident at Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone, with four of them needing a visit to a hospital.

The incident has spurred the correction officers union to reignite calls for stricter provisions for inmates that act out violently.


“This was a vicious attack on staff that injured six officers and took several minutes to bring under control. The unfortunate reality is, the inmate, already in a Special Housing Unit for prior disciplinary charges, knows the discipline system carries little or no weight as a result of the HALT Act,” John Roberts, NYSCOPBA Northern Region vice president, said.

According to the correction officer’s union, New York State Corrections Police Benevolent Association, an inmate, serving his second stint in state prison, viciously attacked staff inside his cell after officers entered the cell to check on his well-being last Tuesday at the maximum security correctional facility.


An officer was assigned to a security watch outside the inmate’s cell in a Special Housing Unit, the union said. The officer was monitoring the inmate because of threats he made of self-harm.

The inmate put a towel on the cell door window so the officer couldn’t see inside the cell, the union said. The inmate refused several orders to remove the towel.

The officer called for a staff response. After several failed attempts to get the inmate to remove the towel, the cell door was opened.

The inmate immediately took an aggressive stance and charged the officers, the union said.


An officer armed with a protective shield, pushed the inmate back towards the back of the cell. Six officers entered the cell and attempted to subdue the inmate with body holds.

The inmate continued to be combative, striking and kicking several officers, the union said. He grabbed one officer in a headlock and struck him several times in both sides of the head, and kneed him in the ribs.

During the struggle, the inmate bit one officer on the shin and refused to release the bite, the union said. OC spray was administered three times with no effect. Force was utilized to get the inmate to release his bite.

Staff applied handcuffs as the inmate continued to fight. Leg restraints were then applied. Once in restraints, the inmate became compliant, the union said.

He was escorted from the cell and brought to the infirmary for evaluation.


Four officers were transported to Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone for treatment. One officer for knee pain and deep abrasions from the bite to his shin.

A second officer with jaw, eye, and forehead swelling and pain. A third officer with wrist and foot pain. The fourth officer with wrist, forearm and hand pain with limited movement of his fingers, the union said.

All four officers did not return to duty.

Two officers were treated by facility medical staff for knee, wrist, hand and elbow injuries. The officers remained on duty.


The inmate, 28, is serving a four-year sentence after being convicted in Onondaga County in 2021 for second-degree attempted possession of a weapon, the union said.

He previously served a year in prison for drug possession in 2019.

Roberts said he hopes there are further charges for the inmate.

“Attacking staff leads to what amounts to a slap on the wrist. The only recourse left in situations like this, is for the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute this inmate for felony assault,” Roberts said.

Roberts said the inmate is scheduled for mandatory release on his current conviction in two years.


“A strong message would be sent if he was charged and convicted in this attack that unprovoked assaults on staff will not be tolerated,” he said.

The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision confirmed that an incident occurred at Upstate on March 21 that left six officers injured with four of them going to the hospital and unable to return to duty, and two of them treated by facility medical staff, and staying on duty.

“The safety and well-being of staff and incarcerated individuals is our top priority,” a statement from DOCCS said.

“The Department has zero tolerance for violence within our facilities and anyone engaged in misconduct will be disciplined, and if warranted, incidents will be referred for outside prosecution.”

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