ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Six officers and one sergeant sustained injuries following attacks that occurred over a week at Elmira Correctional Facility.
According to the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, Inc., inmate violence has been a common issue in the maximum security correctional facility for over a year. This violence has led to the injury of other inmates, as well as staff members of the facility. Last week, this violence injured seven staff members and included the use of weapons.
The first incident occurred on Friday, Nov. 3, when an officer sustained facial, knee and elbow injuries after an inmate suddenly attacked him during an escort to the infirmary. The inmate struck the officer, punching him multiple times in the face. He then resisted to listen to the officer, but after some struggling, the officer was able to get him to comply. He was then treated for the injuries by medical staff at the facility.
On Wednesday, Nov. 8, three officers were injured while performing a pat frisk on an inmate that resulted from the officer’s observation of the inmate passing contraband to other inmates on the cell block. One officer was struck multiple times in the ribs, with two other officers responding and attempting to stop the inmate who continued to fight. Once he was contained and handcuffed, the inmate became compliant. Later, after he was placed in a cell, the inmate was observed trying to hurt himself, to which an officer tried to stop him. The officer was then charged by the inmate and had to use OC spray to stop the attack.
On the same day, officers responded to a six-inmate-on-four-inmate fight in the recreation yard that involved a weighted tube sock. The fight was stopped after additional staff arrived in the yard. The inmates were removed and taken to the infirmary for evaluation, with one inmate sustaining multiple gashes to his face and neck. Two sharpened toothbrushes were found in the yard afterwards, as well as the weighted sock that was found to be filled with rocks.
The next incident occurred on Thursday, Nov. 9, where two officers and a sergeant were injured when an inmate attacked staff after being ordered back into his cell. The inmate then attempted to strike one of the officers several times but was unsuccessful. After two officers struggled to contain him, the inmate pushed rearward, forcing the inmates to fall down the cell block stairs to the landing. A sergeant responded to the landing to assist the two officers and was kicked in the knee. The inmate was then placed in handcuffs and removed from the cell block. The two officers were transported to Arnot Ogden Medical Center for hand, elbow and lower back injuries. The sergeant was treated at the facility for pain and swelling in his knee.
The last incident occurred on the same day when officers observed two inmates fighting. The officers gave several orders for the inmates to stop but they refused until additional staff arrived. One inmate had several lacerations to the right side of his face and his neck and needed to be transported to an outside hospital for treatment. During the investigation, it was determined a third inmate joined in the fight and cut the inmate. During questioning, the inmate admitted to the assault and turned over a sharpened toothbrush he had hidden.