Latest From Rome: Guard Injured, Plus A 3-on-1 Inmate Fight
The union representing New York prison guards have released information on two recent incidents at Mohawk Correctional Facility in Rome, including one that involved an attack on a CO.
According to the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA), a guard was punched in the face several times by an inmate on June 29. After initially ignoring a direct order from a CO, the inmate began to submit to a pat frisk, then 'came off the wall' and started swinging, according to NYSCOPBA.
The two wrestled around and the inmate attempted to gain control of the guard's baton, however, the guard was able to end the incident with OC spray (pepper spray), NYSCOPBA said.
The guard sustained several abrasions to his arm and knee, along with a split lip and a loose tooth, officials said. The inmate is serving a two-year sentence for attempted criminal possession of a weapon. After the incident he was transferred to Auburn Correction, the union said.
Meanwhile, the following day, June 30, union officials say there was a three-on-one attack on an inmate, carried out by other prisoners.
Again, staff at the correctional facility were able to gain control of the incident by using OC spray. The three inmates who initiated the attack were send to Single Housing Units (SHU), officials said.
NYSCOPBA Central Region Vice President Brian Hluska called the attack on a guard a "prime example of is occurring daily to our member." He called on Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara to prosecute the incident as a felony assault to send a message.
"Sadly, it is literally the last line of defense we have to protect our staff," Hluska said.
McNamara told WIBX on Wednesday he was not aware of the specific incident and evidence, but said he would review it if provided the information.
On Wednesday, NYSCOPBA and state legislators gathered outside Great Meadow Correctional to call for a repeal of the HALT Act - Humane Alternative to Solitary Confinement - which they say strips away a punishment for such behavior inside New York's prisons.
Click for to read more from WIBX 950 about growing violence in NY Prisons and NYSCOPBA's opposition to the HALT Act.