ATTICA, NY - One correction officer remains hospitalized after suffering multiple facial fractures and a concussion, and two others were treated for injuries at area hospitals, following a violent inmate attack Wednesday at Attica Correctional Facility.
The New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA) says an inmate responded to an officer's "routine verbal inquiry" by punching the officer repeatedly in the face, causing three fractures surrounding his right orbital bone and a concussion. The officer was airlifted to Erie County Medical Center for treatment.
The union says the same inmate bit a responding officer on his right forearm, and injured another officer's knee, when they attempted to assist the officer who was initially attacked. The bitten officer was treated at ECMC and the officer with the knee injury was treated at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia. Both were released following treatment.
Donn Rowe, president of NYSCOPBA, took the opportunity to criticize Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision for what he called their "irresponsible approach to managing the budget of this public safety agency."
Rowe said, "The state wants to create the illusion that the system is rife with empty beds, but this is only made possible by double-bunking inmates. Instead of taking the opportunity to right-size the system, and make it safer for correction officers and inmates, the state continues to warehouse inmates by double-bunking and maintaining crowded and understaffed facilities."
NYSCOPBA Western Region Vice President Mike Dildine cited statistics showing a decrease in the overall number of inmate-on-officer assaults, but an increase in the rate of violent assaults.
Dildine said the same pattern was apparent in the number of inmate-on-inmate assaults and incidents of contraband being found on inmates, a trend which he said demonstrates that "while the inmate population has decreased, the State is housing a more violent inmate in its facilities."