Lockdown continues at Ohio prison after inmates stab CO
Officer Matthew Mathias was attacked by two inmates with metal weapons on Tuesday
By Marty Schladen
The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Southern Ohio Correctional Facility continues on lockdown as the State Highway Patrol pursues its investigation into the Tuesday stabbing of a corrections officer, a spokeswoman said Thursday.
The officer, Matthew Mathias, was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Huntington, West Virginia, after being attacked by two inmates with metal weapons, an incident report by the Highway Patrol said. The Tuesday morning attack took place in one of the infirmaries at the prison, which is near Lucasville.
Mathias was in stable condition Wednesday. His family has started a gofundme page, which had raised more than $12,000 to help defray medical expenses. It said Mathias has suffered more than 32 stab wounds from 10-inch shanks.
"After a quick response from other Correction Officers and Medical Team he was life flighted to a hospital in West Virginia where he underwent a several-hour surgery for his injuries," the page says.
Chris Mabe, a former prison worker who heads the union representing corrections officers, said his group has been complaining about danger at the prison for a long time, but has gotten no serious response from state officials. In the wake of the stabbing, he said his attempts to communicate with Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Director and the office of Gov. John Kasich have gone unanswered.
"A lot of the staff are really in fear of the conditions there," he said after a visit to the prison Thursday.
Police won't identify the suspected prisoners until they're charged, but an official with the union that represents Ohio corrections officers said one is three-time killer Casey Pigge of Chillicothe.
Pigge has killed two people while in the custody of the corrections department. He has pleaded guilty to killing his cellmate by hitting him over the head with a cinder block removed from the cell. He strangled another inmate on the prison bus as he was headed back to Lucasville after pleading guilty to killing his cellmate.
©2018 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)