GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. (WWNY) - Two officers were injured when an inmate attacked an officer during a routine pat frisk at Gouverneur Correctional Facility. That’s according to a news release from the officers’ union, New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association.
The union said an officer was conducting a routine pat frisk of an inmate who was on his way to recreation on January 5 at approximately 6:10 p.m.
On the walkway to the recreation area, the union said the inmate suddenly came off the wall and punched the officer in the left side of the face. The officer, and a second officer who was assisting in the pat frisk, took the inmate to the ground where he continued to struggle, the union said.
NYSCOPBA said The officers were able to get mechanical restraints on the inmate after a brief struggle.
Once the inmate stopped struggling, he was removed from the scene and taken to a room to be searched. In the room, the union said the inmate attempted to kick an officer several times and lunged at another. Pepper spray was applied to the inmate and he complied with orders from staff, the union said.
According to NYSCOPBA, the inmate was placed in a special housing unit and faces disciplinary charges. He is serving a 12 to 15 year sentence after being convicted in Monroe County in 2011 for robbery and conspiracy.
The union said one officer sustained bruising and swelling to his left eye and right hand. The second officer sustained scratches to his right hand and right knee. Both were treated by facility medical staff and remained on duty.
In an unrelated incident, the union said two visitors were arrested attempting to bring synthetic marijuana into the facility during inmate visits the day before. At approximately 9:43 a.m. an investigator and a K9 were in the administration building assisting the processing of incoming visitors. A Long Island woman voluntarily surrendered 9.4 grams of synthetic marijuana, commonly known as K2, which she had hidden in her pants, the union said. She was arrested for Promoting Prison Contraband 1st and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 5th.
At approximately 11:35 a.m. a K9 alerted to a visitor in the administration building. When questioned by an investigator, the woman voluntarily surrendered a zip lock bag that contained balloons. The balloons contained 13.8 grams of synthetic marijuana. The zip lock bag was concealed in the woman’s pants. She was charged with Promoting Prison Contraband 1st and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 5th. She is from the Bronx.
Both women were transported to State Police barracks for processing.
“A few short days into 2020 and staff assaults and contraband continue to be problematic. Staff assaults and contraband seized hit record numbers in 2019 and that trend will continue if policies are not changed to better protect staff and reduce drugs from getting inside our prisons. That should be the number one priority in the coming year. Anything short of that is a disservice to the men and women who are dedicated to protecting our communities,” said Bryan Hluska, NYSCOPBA Central Region Vice President, in the news release.