Elmira, N.Y. – Several officers of Elmira Correctional Facility sustained injuries during three different incidents at the maximum security prison last week.
The first incident occurred on Thursday, April 15. An officer was conducting routine rounds when he passed an inmate’s cell and was struck with liquid in the left shoulder and neck. The inmate had taken a Styrofoam cup with toilet water in it and threw it on the officer. Additional staff immediately responded to the scene. The inmate was ordered to exit his cell so he could be escorted to a Special Housing Unit. As the inmate exited his cell, he spun and struck one officer in the face. Two officers grabbed him in a body hold and took him to the ground. Still struggling with officers, handcuffs were applied.
The inmate was escorted to a Special Housing Unit holding cell. In the holding cell, the inmate became unresponsive. He was immediately brought to the infirmary where medical staff administered Narcan. He became alert and responsive. From there he was taken to an outside hospital for further observation.
Two officers were injured in the incident. The officer who was struck in the face sustained pain and swelling to his jaw and an abrasion to his hand. A second officer sustained soreness and swelling to his hand and knee while subduing the inmate. Both officers remained on duty.
The following day two officers responded to a fire on a cell block. They observed that a smoke detector near one cell was charred and melted. The cell had a bed sheet covering the bars. The inmate, who was in the cell, was ordered to remove the sheet which he refused. He told the two officers he was going to hurt himself. One officer was able to calm the inmate down and convince him to exit the cell. As the cell door opened, the inmate charged at one officer and attempted to strike him. The officer administered OC spray. The inmate charged at the second officer. Both officers grabbed the inmate in a body hold and forced him to the ground. On the ground, the inmate continued to struggle with the officers. Handcuffs were applied and the inmate became compliant.
The inmate was escorted to the infirmary for decontamination from the OC spray. In the infirmary, the inmate was combative with medical staff. He was brought to another room to be frisked for contraband by staff. During the frisk, officers found two make-shift plastic shanks on him. Initially, the inmate refused to drop the weapon.
After recovering the weapons they put him into another cell. Before the cell door was shut, he charged at the door and struck a sergeant in the chest.
The inmate, 26, is serving a seven year sentence after being convicted in Westchester County for Attempted Robbery 1st in 2016. He faces disciplinary charges in the incident.
During the investigation of the incident staff recovered evidence in the inmate’s cell consistent with intentionally setting the fire on the cell block.
Three officers were injured in the incident. One officer had pain and swelling in both wrists. A second officer had pain and swelling to his knee. The third officer sustained pain to his neck. The officers remained on duty after being treated by facility medical staff.
On Monday, April 19, an inmate was placed in a hearing room prior to a disciplinary hearing. When an officer approached the door of the hearing the room, the inmate began kicking the door and striking it with both fists. Continuing the attack, the inmate picked up a chair in the room and struck the glass window on the door shattering it. The inmate was able to push his way out of the door and attempted to attack the officer. The officer administered OC spray which had no effect. Three officers grabbed the inmate in a body hold and forced him to the floor. The officer applied handcuffs to the inmate and removed him from hearing room.
The inmate, 42, is serving a 32 year sentence after being convicted in New York County in 2002 for Robbery 2nd and Rape 1st. He faces additional disciplinary charges in the incident.
Three officers were injured in the attack. One officer sustained swelling to his forearm, left elbow and shoulder, A second officer sustained pain to his knee and wrist. The third officer sustained swelling to his shoulder. The officers were treated by facility medical staff and remained on duty.
“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. Instead of solely focusing on weakening the disciplinary system, our elected officials should be taking a long look at why these attacks are occurring and doing everything in their power to keep staff safe from future attacks!” – stated Mark Deburgomaster , NYSCOPBA Western Region Vice President.