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CO credited with saving suicidal inmate

Posted 21 April 2014 at 12:00 am

Press release, NYS Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association

ALBION – A correctional officer at the Orleans Correctional Facility saved a 48-year-old inmate who cut himself several times with a sharp metal can lid in an apparent suicide attempt.

The incident occurred on April 16 at approximately 8:15 p.m. The inmate, whose name is being withheld, approached the officer while he was sitting at his desk. He told the officer he needed to speak with someone from the Office of Mental Health and that he was going to kill himself.

The officer told the inmate not to move and that he would get help. The officer went to notify the sergeant on duty about what was unfolding when the inmate ran out into the dayroom. The officer quickly followed and observed the inmate holding the metal can lid.  The officer immediately called for a response on his radio and activated his radio emergency pin.

He ordered the inmate to drop the lid to the ground. The inmate refused, and with the can lid in his right hand he began to swing it wildly as a weapon, striking himself in the right arm, face and head several times.

The officer ordered him again to drop the weapon but the inmate refused. While bleeding, he raised the lid in a threatening manner towards the officer. The officer grabbed the inmate by his arm to try and get him under control. He was able to pull his arm into his body and break free from the officer.

The inmate then ran into the bathroom and into a stall where he tried to flush the lid down the toilet. As he came out of the stall the officer ordered him to get on the ground, which he did. The inmate was handcuffed and taken to the facilities medical unit to be treated for several small lacerations.

The officer sustained some minor abrasions and exposure to blood. He was treated at the facility.

The inmate is serving a 20 year to life sentence for Robbery 1st and Robbery 2nd after being convicted in 1997 in New York County.

“The quick actions by the officer last week at Orleans Correctional Facility should be commended,” said Mike Dildine, Western Region Vice President for NYSCOPBA. “He certainly saved the inmate from inflicting serious physical harm onto himself during an apparent suicide attempt. Situations like this, with inmates who have mental health problems, are unpredictable. Our members are trained to react quickly and appropriately while protecting themselves and the inmate as well.”