Man accused of flooding his cell to ambush Pa. corrections officer

Inmate Alonzo Gaffney beat Officer Shamari Dally with a "wet floor" sign in late June

By Sarah M. Wojcik
The Morning Call

EASTON, Pa. — A 32-year-old man jailed on charges of driving a stolen grocery delivery truck into opposing traffic on two major Lehigh Valley highways faces new charges after court papers allege he beat a corrections officer with a “wet floor” sign in late June.

Alonzo Gaffney was in Northampton County Jail accused of driving a Giant grocery delivery truck June 7 in the wrong lanes on both Route 33 and Interstate 78 before police wrecked the vehicle and arrested him. Gaffney is now also charged with felony assault by a prisoner and simple assault after the June 23 incident.

He was arraigned Wednesday before District Judge Daniel Corpora and remains in jail with an additional $20,000 bail attached to the $100,000 bail assigned to the wrong-way driving case.

According to court records: On the afternoon of June 23, county Corrections Officer Shamari Dally was checking out a water leak on his assigned floor. When he opened the door to Gaffney’s cell, the 32-year-old jumped at him and grabbed Dally’s shirt. Gaffney used a nearby “wet floor” sign to hit Dally in the head.

Dally unleashed his pepper spray as Gaffney tried and failed to hit him a second time with a sign. Dally ran to the next floor and called for backup. Corrections officers got Gaffney under control, and Dally was sent to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg for treatment.

According to police, during an interview on June 26 Gaffney admitted to intentionally flooding his cell to get Dally’s attention. He said he struck the corrections officer with the sign and chased him up the stairs.


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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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