FALLSBURG – Four corrections officers were treated at a local hospital for injuries sustained in an attack by an inmate at the state maximum-security Sullivan Correctional Facility.
Mike Mazzella, the Mid-Hudson region vice president of the New York State Corrections Officers PBA said that on Wednesday, April 8, the inmate was being frisked before being admitted to a Special Housing Unit for discipline.
His mechanical restraints were removed during the frisk. Without restraints on, the 28-year-old inmate turned and struck an officer multiple times in the face with his elbow and fist. Other officers responded and got the inmate to the ground where he continued to struggle. During the struggle, the inmate bit two officers. The officers were able to get mechanical restraints back on the inmate and he was escorted to his cell in the Special Housing Unit. The officers removed his restraints in the cell.
As they left the cell, the inmate lunged at the officers and struck one in the face. Pepper spray was administered and the inmate stopped the attack.
The injured officers were treated by medical staff at the facility and transported to a local hospital. One officer sustained a concussion, bite wound to his pinky, and facial abrasion. A second officer sustained a bite wound to his pinky and pain and swelling to his right knee. A third officer sustained pain to the side of the head and decreased cervical motion. A sergeant sustained a concussion and right knee pain.
The inmate is serving a four- to five-year sentence after being convicted for two counts of assault and one count of attempted arson in 2017 in New York City.
“As our members continue to work the front line during the COVID-19 crisis, violent inmates continue to attack officers. Four officers injured by an inmate who suddenly attacked them without any provocation. Two officers needed to be treated for exposure after the inmate bit their fingers and one officer has not returned to work because of concussion symptoms and an infection to his finger that was bit,” said Mazzella. “This type of attack is the exact reason why there needs to be appropriate discipline to deter inmates from attacking staff. Without it these attacks will continue.”