GOWANDA - Officials had to deal with another drug-related attack at a Western New York prison, union officials said.

The latest incident happened on Sept. 29 at Gowanda Correctional Facility in southern Erie County, said Mark Deburgomaster, western region vice president of NYS Corrections Officers and Police Benevolent Association.

An officer heard loud screaming coming from an inmate dorm room about 11 a.m. The officer went to investigate and saw the inmate on the floor screaming. Additional staff was called.

When the officer approached the inmate, the inmate grabbed his right leg and pants pocked and stood up and slammed the officer to the bed, Deburgomaster said.

He was given several orders to get off the officer but he refused. OC spray was administered but had no effect. Several staff grabbed the inmate in body holds and pulled him off the bed and onto the floor. The inmate was still screaming and struggling. Staff were able to apply handcuffs to the inmate and he became compliant.

Once under control, the inmate was placed on a stretcher and transported to the infirmary. At the infirmary, the inmate became incoherent and unresponsive. Medical staff administered two doses of Narcan until he became responsive. He was transported to a local hospital for observation.

The officer sustained injuries to his groin, right wrist and back. He was treated at the facility and transported to a local hospital. He did not return to duty.

No other staff were injured.

The inmate, 34, is serving a 15-year sentence after being convicted of first-degree assault in in Erie County in 2011.

Officers have had to deal with numerous similar instances at prisons throughout Western New York this year. Union officials cite an increase in drugs getting into prisons.

“Once DOCCS reinstated inmate visitation there has been an uptick in drugs getting into the hands of inmates,” Deburgomaster said. “All throughout this pandemic staff did an excellent job detecting contraband coming in through mailed packages. Now with visitation occurring again, they are tasked with another difficult situation of stopping visitors from bringing drugs into inmates. Until DOCCS takes this situation seriously these unprovoked attacks will continue.”

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