TOWN OF GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. (WWNY) - An inmate at Gouverneur Correctional Facility injured three officers last week, prompting the officers’ union to call for “a strong message.”
The New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association says the attack began in a prison bathroom on January 25.
The union says an officer was making routine rounds in one of the dorm bathrooms when he saw an inmate smoking in one of the bathroom stalls. The officer ordered the inmate to put out the cigarette, but he refused.
The officer ordered the inmate out of the stall to be frisked.
According to the union, the 32 year old inmate started throwing punches at the officer, who pepper-sprayed the inmate. The inmate continued to come at the officer, who grabbed the inmate in a body hold and took him to the floor, NSCOPBA said.
The union says the inmate got free, stood up and charged at another officer who was responding to the incident.
Two officers grabbed the inmate in a body hold and took him to the floor again. They applied handcuffs and the inmate stopped struggling.
As the officers were escorting the inmate from the area he head-butted a third officer.
The inmate was placed in a special housing unit following the attack and faces disciplinary charges.
The union says the officer who was assaulted inside the bathroom was transported to an outside hospital for treatment. He sustained a chipped tooth and sprained thumb and did not return to duty.
The officer who was head-butted sustained bruising to his cheekbone and blurred vision. He was treated at the facility and remained on duty.
A third officer suffered hip soreness and pain to his lower back while subduing the inmate. He remained on duty.
“This was a sudden and unprovoked attack on an officer who was completing routine rounds in the prison. With watered down disciplinary measures now in effect in our prisons, this incident is a prime example in which criminal charges should be filed for felony assault on two officers. I strongly encourage the St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office to file charges against this inmate and hold him accountable for his actions. A strong message needs to be sent to inmates that violent attacks on staff will not go unpunished,” said NYSCOPBA Central Region Vice President Bryan Hluska in a news release.
District Attorney Gary Pasqua said cases like this typically go before a grand jury before charges are filed.