GOUVERNEUR, NY – In a year in which assaults on staff reached record levels since DOCCS began compiling assault statistics, four more officers were injured in one of the dorms at the medium security correctional facility when several inmates refused to comply with the inmate count and became combative and attacked the officers.
The incident occurred on Monday, December 6. Several inmates refused to stand in the living quarters of the dorm so staff could conduct an inmate count. One inmate was yelling at one of the officers and attempting to incite the other inmates. He refused several orders to stop yelling and ran from the dorm into the bathroom when staff approached him.
Three other inmates joined in and refused to stand for the count. Staff gave several orders for the inmates to stand and put their hands on their lockers so a pat frisk could be conducted. All refused. One inmate turned and punched an officer in the chest when he approached him. The officer grabbed the inmate in a body hold and forced him to the ground and applied handcuffs. A second inmate lunged towards staff when he was approached. He was grabbed in a body hold and forced back into his cube where handcuffs applied. The third inmate took an combative stance when an officer approached him. He was grabbed in a body hold, forced to the floor and handcuffs were applied.
Meanwhile, two officers entered the bathroom to find the first inmate. When one officer approached him, the inmate struck him several times in the face. Both officers grabbed him in a body hold and took him to the ground. Still combative on the ground, the officers were able to apply handcuffs. Once in handcuffs, the inmate became compliant.
All four inmates were removed from the dorm and placed in a Special Housing Unit pending disciplinary charges.
All injured officers were treated by facility medical staff. One officer had pain and swelling to his knee. A second officer had a laceration to his thigh. A third officer had pain and swelling in his neck and face. The fourth officer had pain to his lower back. The officers remained on duty.
“As we close out 2021, the prevalent theme has been the rise in assaults on staff and the lack of action taken by DOCCS to address it. We undoubtedly will surpass 1200 assaults on staff for the first time since DOCCS was mandated to report attacks. That is simply unacceptable and needs to be addressed in the coming year. Instead of closing prisons and touting the savings, that money should be put into resources designed to keep staff safe” – stated Bryan Hluska , Central Region Vice President.