ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Multiple Elmira Correctional Facility officers were injured during an inmate fight last week.
According to the NYSCOPBA, a half dozen inmates were involved in a “mess hall melee” at Elmira Correctional Facility when an inmate ran from the serving line and attacked two inmates who were seated at a table. The three inmates began exchanging punches and three other inmates joined in the fight.
Two officers, assigned to the mess hall, responded to the fight and administered OC Spray to three inmates despite orders to stop. A second round of OC Spray was administered and three inmates became compliant. One inmate in the fight continued to be combative and an officer grabbed him in a body hold and forced him to the ground.
One inmate, who initially started the fight, was ordered to submit to a frisk in the hallway. He violently spun off the wall and spit blood on one of the officers before being taken to the ground and placed in handcuffs.
One inmate sustained a puncture wound to the left side of the head that was consistent of a make-shift weapon and was treated at the infirmary.
The inmates were placed in a Special Housing Unit and face disciplinary charges.
A search of the mess hall recovered four plexiglass-type weapons, each sharpened on one end.
Three officers and a sergeant were injured in the incident. Two officers needed to be transferred to Arnot Ogden Medical Center for treatment. They were treated and released later in the day.
The sergeant and third officer were treated by facility medical staff and remained on duty.
In addition to the mess hall fight, five officers sustained injuries after being assaulted in three incidents that occurred last Monday, Thursday and Friday. Two officers needed to be treated at Arnot Ogden Medical Center and three officers were treated by facility medical staff for their injuries.
In the assault on Friday, an officer sustained a laceration under his eye, swelling to his forehead, left side of his face and neck pain after an inmate stepped out of the recreation line and struck him in the head before being subdued by the officer.
“In the span of five days last week, staff had blood spit on them, they were kicked, punched, and attacked by inmates. Thankfully, the officers did not sustain serious injuries, but the fact remains in a split second, one of those weapons recovered in the mess hall, could have been used against staff. We have tried our best to educate State Legislators on the dangers that exist inside our prisons but they continually ignore the violence that is occurring. Until they take action, our members will have a target on their backs every day, and they deserve better than that.” – stated Mark Deburgomaster , NYSCOPBA Western Region Vice President.