Five officers were injured in three separate inmate attacks at Elmira Correctional Facility in the first two weeks of January.
The first incident took place on Friday, January 6th when an inmate refused to get off the phone after exceeding his allotted time. The officer approached the inmate and ordered him to return to his cell, but the inmate instead turned and struck the officer in the left side of his face. A second officer responded to the attack and helped put the inmate in a body hold and forced him to the ground, where they applied handcuffs. The officer who was initially struck sustained pain and swelling to his face, but was treated at the facility and remained on duty.
The second incident occurred on Thursday, January 12th during the evening meal run. An officer ordered an inmate to submit to a random pat frisk for contraband in the laundry corridor, but the inmate instead turned and struck the officer multiple times in the face and head. The officer and a second officer grabbed the inmate in a body hold and forced him to the floor, where they applied handcuffs and escorted him from the corridor. The officer who was struck sustained abrasions to his cheek and forehead, and the second officer sustained abrasions to both sides of his forehead from hitting a wall during the incident. Both officers were treated at the facility and remained on duty.
The third incident occurred on January 13th when staff were conducting random cell searches for contraband. An officer ordered an inmate to exit his cell, but when the cell door was opened, the inmate struck the officer several times in the head. The officer, with the assistance of two other officers, grabbed the inmate in a body hold and forced him to the ground, where they applied handcuffs and removed him from the cell block. The officer who was struck sustained multiple abrasions to his forehead, and a second officer sustained pain and swelling to his wrist from subduing the inmate. Both were treated at the facility and remained on duty.
The inmate responsible for the attacks, who is 24 years old and serving a 25-year sentence for attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon, is reportedly one of the most violent at the facility. In response to the incidents, Kenny Gold, the NYSCOPBA Western Region Vice President, criticized the HALT Act, a recent piece of legislation aimed at reducing violence in correctional facilities, for contributing to a more dangerous work environment for staff. He called on legislators to take action and make changes to ensure the safety of all staff in state correctional facilities.
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