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Union: Officer assaulted by inmate

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The entrance to the Coxsackie Correctional Facility off Route 9W in Coxsackie.
November 8, 2019 05:31 pm

COXSACKIE — A correction officer at the maximum-security Coxsackie Correctional Facility was attacked by an inmate Monday, according to the union representing the officer.

The officer, who has not been identified, sustained multiple facial fractures during the assault, which occurred at about 11:40 a.m., according to a statement from the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association.

“The inmate had just entered the school building carrying items that were not allowed in the building,” according to the union. “The officer directed the inmate to stand near the wall so he could be frisked for contraband. The inmate immediately turned towards the officer and attacked him, striking him several times in the face.”

The officer then fell to his knees and the inmate continued attacking him, according to the union. The officer shot back at the inmate with pepper spray, but to no avail.

Another officer arrived and was able to tackle the inmate to the floor using body holds, according to the union. When additional staff arrived, the inmate was placed in restraints.

The officer was taken to Albany Medical Center where he was treated for a fractured orbital bone, fractured cheekbone and a broken nose. He did not return to duty, according to the union.

The inmate, who has not been identified, is 33 years old and serving an eight-year sentence on a conviction for first-degree burglary and first-degree use of a firearm, both class B felonies, in Rockland County in 2017. He committed an armed home invasion in 2016 in the Town of Nanuet, according to the union.

New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association Mid-Hudson Region President Michael Mazzella said in a statement Thursday he is hopeful that justice will be served for the injured officer.

“A week after an officer was stabbed multiple times at Green Haven Correctional Facility, another officer was violently attacked and left with multiple facial fractures in an unprovoked attack at Coxsackie,” Mazzella said. “Inmate advocates continue to call for a reduction in discipline for inmates yet the violent assaults on staff continue to occur.”

“There is no denying that the violence inside our correctional facilities is getting worse,” Mazzella said. “We hope the district attorney’s office prosecutes this case to the fullest extent of the law and sends a clear message that any inmate who attacks an officer will be held accountable.“

State Department of Correction and Community Supervision Spokesman Thomas Mailey said in a statement Thursday he could not release information regarding the incident.

“The safety and well-being of our staff and incarcerated individuals is our top priority,” Mailey said. “The department has zero tolerance for violence within our facilities and anyone engaged in misconduct will be disciplined. If warranted, an incident will be referred for outside prosecution. The department is reviewing an incident involving a staff member and an incarcerated individual that occurred on Monday at the Coxsackie Correctional Facility and cannot comment.”

State police have been notified of the incident, according to the union.