Video: Mass. DOC investigating attack on 3 COs

The corrections officers were hospitalized after being attacked by six inmates Friday night


Stefan Geller
Boston Herald

SHIRLEY, Mass. — A vicious beat down at the Souza-Baranowski maximum-security prison sent three correction officers to the hospital and has officials seeking charges and others calling for an investigation.

The officers were jumped by six inmates Friday at the Shirley prison in what a video shows started with inmates punching one guard then swarming over two others as they jumped in to help. The Massachusetts Department of Correction posted the video on the agency’s Facebook page hours later, adding the case is still open.

The incident occurred around 10:45 a.m. at the correctional center, which was locked down as a result, said MDC Director of Communications Kate Silvia.

Silvia said one officer was surrounded and then assaulted by inmates in the N1 general population housing unit and that two responding correction officers were taken to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment after coming to aid the first officer.

“The District Attorney is being notified of this serious assault. These inmates will be facing internal discipline and DOC staff will provide the Worcester District Attorney’s office with all available facts and evidence relating to the assaults,” a statement from the MDC read.

After the officer radioed for assistance the area was secured in minutes by the responding officers, Silvia said.

 
SBCC Incident 1-10-2020

At approximately 10:45am today, our brave staff encounter a dangerous situation that occurred at a moment’s notice. This video shows the resilience and training of the officers involved. Due to the quick efforts by responding officers, life-threatening injuries were prevented in this incident. We wish a speedy recovery for the officers involved. Due to CORI regulations the video has been blurred.

Posted by Massachusetts Department of Correction on Friday, January 10, 2020

The names of the correction officers involved in the incident have not been released.

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson told the Herald Friday night dealing with inmates, especially gang members, is a challenge.

“It’s a tough group. It’s tough inside,” he said. “You have to be on top of it all the time.”

Hodgson housed former Patriot Aaron Hernandez until the convicted murderer was moved to MCI-Souza-Baranowski, where he hanged himself in 2017.

Child-molesting priest John J. Geoghan was strangled and stomped to death in the same prison in 2003.

Former Boston Police Superintendent-in-Chief Daniel Linskey, now a security consultant for Kroll Associates in Boston, said the DOC must determine what went wrong.

“The system needs to meet the threats. Was this a system, staffing or equipment failure? That must be determined,” said Linskey, who pointed out the breakdown of control at Souza-Baranowski that resulted in Geoghan’s murder.

“The prison system holds people accountable and keeps them safe. We have to assure the same thing for the officers,” Linskey, a managing director at Kroll, added. “We’ve got to have the upper hand.”

The DOC added in the Facebook post that the video “shows the resilience and training of the officers involved. Due to the quick efforts by responding officers, life-threatening injuries were prevented in this incident. We wish a speedy recovery for the officers involved.”

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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