Union says corrections officer was stabbed by inmate in Erie County facility

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ALDEN, N.Y. (WIVB) — The New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association says a corrections officer at Wende Correctional Facility was stabbed in the head by an inmate.

The union says the incident occurred at the maximum security facility on Monday around 5:30 p.m. At that time, the 21-year-old inmate’s special housing unit was being searched for contraband.

NYSCOPBA says the inmate was being pat frisked by an officer when the officer found a sharpened plastic toothbrush in the inmate’s waistband.

While the frisk continued, “the inmate came off the wall and stabbed one of the officers on the left side of the back of his head,” the NYSCOPBA says.

While they were trying to help, two other officers were punched, the union reports.

They say the inmate broke free from the first officer’s body hold before running down the cell block as officers pursued him.

At one point, NYSCOPBA says the inmate grabbed a feed cart and a garbage can, throwing them at officers.

After administering several rounds of pepper spray, officers were eventually able to get the inmate into mechanical restraints, according to the NYSCOPBA.

Four officers, including the stabbing victim, were taken to a local hospital. The one who was stabbed had to get “seven staples to close the wound behind his left ear,” the NYSCOPBA says.

Each officer was treated and released.

According to NYSCOPBA, the inmate has been serving a 16-year sentence after being convicted of manslaughter in Rockland County in 2017.

“Daily occurrences of violence against staff are the norm now in our prisons. This latest attack, which included an inmate stabbing an officer in the back of the head, is just the latest example of how violent and dangerous our facilities are. This attack was committed by an inmate already serving a lengthy sentence for killing a teenager after hitting him in the head with a rock during a robbery. I sincerely hope the Erie County District Attorney’s Office prosecutes this inmate to the fullest extent of the law and sends a message this will not be tolerated.” Mark Deburgomaster, vice president of the NYSCOPBA’s Western Region, said.

In all, two sharpened toothbrushes were found. New York State police were notified about the incident.

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