Multiple Officers Injured by Inmates at Elmira Correctional Facility

Local News

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Six officers needed medical treatment at a local hospital after an inmate attacked them at the maximum-security prison last month.

It was one of four attacks on staff that occurred in the month of May that left staff with injuries according to a press release rom the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association.

On Wednesday, May, 13 an officer was escorting an inmate back to his cell after a disciplinary hearing.  The inmate refused to enter his cell.  The officer attempted to apply handcuffs when the inmate abruptly turned and struck the officer twice in the face.  He turned again and struck a second officer in the face.  A third officer responded to the cell and he was punched in the face by the inmate. 

According to a press release, “The three officers grabbed the inmate in a body hold and forced him to the ground.  On the ground and still combative, OC Spray was applied to the inmate.  The officers forced his hands behind his back and applied handcuffs.  Once in handcuffs, the inmate became compliant”. 

The inmate, 34, was removed from the cell block and transferred to Five Points Correctional Facility.  He is serving a 25 year sentence after being convicted in Bronx County in 2012 on Manslaughter 1st and Attempted Assault 2nd charges. 

Additionally, on Wednesday, May 26th seven officers sustained injuries after an inmate attacked them in the cell block after refusing to a pat frisk.

 Initially,  an officer observed the inmate exchange an unknown item with another inmate.  The officer ordered the inmate to submit to a frisk.  Just prior to the frisk, the inmate struck the officer multiple times in the head.   Four officers immediately responded to the scene.  They attempted to get the inmate in a body hold.  Even more combative now, he picked one officer up in the air and slammed him to the ground.  He struck a third officer in the face multiple times knocking him backward to the ground. 

Two additional officers responded to the incident.   The inmate was placed in a body hold and forced to the ground.  Still fighting on the ground with officers,  he was placed in handcuffs.  Once in handcuffs,  the inmate became compliant.  He was removed from the cell block and placed in a Special Housing Unit pending disciplinary charges.   

Six officers were transported to Arnot Ogden Medical Center for treatment of a variety of pain and swelling to hands, knees, face and shoulder.  They were treated and released. 

A seventh officer was treated by facility medical staff for minor pain and swelling and remained on duty. 

The inmate, 31, was placed in a Special Housing Unit pending disciplinary charges.  He is serving a seven year sentence after being convicted in Cayuga County for Burglary 2nd and two counts of Assault 2nd in 2021.

In addition to those two violent assaults,  two officers were injured in two separate attacks on May 17 and May 19. 

An officer sustained bruising and swelling to his eye socket when an inmate punched him through the cell bars on Monday, May 17 after the officer ordered the inmate to remove a blanket he had covering the cell bars.    

The second officer sustained bruising to his forehead when an inmate, on an unknown intoxicant,  head butted him when officers opened his cell door out of concern the inmate was going to hurt himself. 

“It has become a broken record of sorts reporting weekly on staff being attacked by inmates.  The reality is,  until the disciplinary system is strengthened,  we will continue to bring to light the assaults that plague our prisons.  Eight officers needing hospital treatment at one prison is simply unacceptable.  State Legislators need to open their eyes to the constant danger our members face and strengthen policies that will help deter these attacks from occurring.  This also applies to inmate on inmate assaults.  Last Thursday,  staff needed to deploy chemical agents to stop six inmates from fighting in the recreation yard.  Not before several inmates were cut with make-shift weapons.  It is simply incomprehensible that our elected officials would sit back and let this violence continue without making meaningful changes that will protect staff and inmates.” – stated Mark Deburgomaster , NYSCOPBA Western Region Vice President.   

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