GOWANDA - A sergeant and two corrections officers have been treated and released from a hospital following an incident on Wednesday at the medium-security Gowanda Correctional Facility. The incident also involved nine inmates who are facing possible criminal prosecution by the Erie County District Attorney.
According to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, this isolated incident started after a verbal confrontation around 8:30 p.m. between a correction officer and an inmate in the shower area, and then escalated at the officer's station. There were no weapons involved in this incident. The nine inmates were brought under control, but not before the sergeant and two officers suffered injuries. The two officers, one who was unconscious, were taken by ambulance to Lake Shore Hospital, where they were treated and released. The two officers are home recuperating; one from a laceration in his ear and possible concussion, the other with a shoulder injury, broken tooth and a swollen eye. The sergeant was evaluated at Gowanda for bruising.
The inmate, who was initially restrained, was identified as Darryl Anderson, 26, who is serving a 12-year sentence for first-degree manslaughter after being convicted in Kings County in 2008. The injured officers were able to identify the other eight inmates. They are: Zachary Tower, 31, serving a 10-year sentence for first-degree attempted robbery; Freddy Moore, 24, serving an eight-year sentence for first-degree robbery; William Dunn, 23, serving a six-year sentence for second-degree burglary; Brandon Corchado, 24, serving a three-year sentence for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon; Anthony Joseph, 35, serving a five-year sentence for third-degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance and parole violations; Manuel Rios, 34, serving a nine-year sentence for second-degree conspiracy and third-degree attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance; Rajsheem Richardson, 26, serving a five-year sentence for two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance; and George Lennon, 36, serving a six-year sentence for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and violating parole. All inmates were transferred to another correctional facility following the investigation by New York State Police. No arrests have been made at this time.
"Our thoughts today are with our co-workers and their families. I will not tolerate this type of behavior. The safety of our staff is paramount to me, and this department will do everything we can to make sure all inmates involved are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If found guilty these inmates could face consecutive felony sentences," said Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci.
The inmates at Gowanda are confined to their housing units pending the outcome of the investigation. All nine inmates involved have been transferred to other prisons.
This is the first assault on staff at Gowanda since November 2013. Last year there were five assaults on staff at this facility. The Gowanda inmate population count Wednesday was 1,466. The total capacity of the facility is 1,763.
New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, Inc., President Donn Rowe said, in a statement, correctional facility violence is an adverse effect of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration closing of correctional facilities across the state.
"... a prime example of how dangerous our prisons have become as a result of this administration's misguided policies. As the proportion of violent inmates continue to grow, there is no doubt that shutting down prisons upstate will only make our institutions more dangerous and overcrowded," Rowe said.