ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Several officers of Elmira Correctional Facility sustained injuries during two separate attacks last week at the maximum security prison, according to the NYSCOPBA.

On Monday, May 10, at Elmira prison,  an officer was observing inmates as they began to head to their evening meal from the cell block.  One inmate “suddenly exited his cell and ran towards the officer,  threatening to kill him.” 

As the inmate approached, the officer administered one application of OC Spray, which had no effect.  The inmate ran down the cellblock and officers say they observed a weapon in the inmate’s hand. The inmate ran into his cell and attempted to flush the weapon down the toilet and struck one officer in the face. After a brief struggle officers were able to lay in the inmate on the floor and apply handcuffs. 

The inmate was removed from the cell and placed in a Special Housing Unit pending disciplinary charges. 

An ice pick type weapon was recovered near the toilet and a search of the cell recovered a second weapon, a razor with masking tape as a handle. 

The officer who was struck in the face sustained pain and swelling to his face and left shoulder.  The second officer sustained pain and soreness to his forearm and knee while subduing the inmate.    

Both officers were treated by facility medical staff and remained on duty. 

The inmate, 36, is serving a life sentence after being convicted in Richmond County in 2019 for Murder 2nd, and Strangulation 1st

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On Thursday, May 13, an officer was escorting an inmate back to his cell from a disciplinary hearing.  Once at his cell, the inmate refused to enter.  Additional staff responded to the cell and attempted to apply handcuffs to the inmate, who then “turned and struck one officer twice in the face” and then struck a second officer in the face. The second officer grabbed the inmate in a body hold as he continued to be combative. During the struggle, he struck a third officer twice in the face prior to staff bringing him to the floor. On the floor, OC Spray was administered as he continued to struggle with five officers.  Officers forced his arms behind his back and applied handcuffs.

The inmate, 34, is serving 25 years after being convicted in Bronx County in 2012 for Manslaughter 1st and Attempted Assault 2nd.  He was transferred to Five Point Correctional Facility. 

Three officers were injured in the incident.  Two officers were taken to outside hospitals.  One officer was treated for a fractured thumb.  The second officer was treated for pain to the left side his head and face and pain to his knee.  He was diagnosed with a concussion.   

The third officer was treated for a minor laceration under his left eye.  He was treated by facility medical staff and remained on duty. 

Officers injured in inmate attack at Elmira Correctional Facility

At least six inmate attacks have been reported since December 2020 at Elmira Correctional Facility.

“Officers sustaining injuries at the hands of inmates has become a common occurrence across the state.  The circumstances might vary, but the attacks are unprovoked and are continuing at a rapid pace. With a weakened disciplinary system now in place there must be alternatives to hold inmates accountable for violent acts inside the prison.     Prosecuting inmates on a regular basis would certainly be a step in the right direction.  Especially in cases where it potentially could increase the time an inmate is incarcerated, it would send a clear message that attacks on staff will not be tolerated and there will be consequences.    Jon Budlemann, the Cayuga County District Attorney did just that last week when he announced the conviction of two inmates central to a riot at Auburn Correctional Facility in 2019.  I commend him for stepping up and taking decisive action” – stated Mark Deburgomaster , NYSCOPBA Western Region Vice President.   

Two additional attacks were reported at Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus.