ROMULUS, N.Y. (WROC) — Three officers and a sergeant at the Five Points Correctional Facility in Seneca County were hospitalized, and three other officers injured, after what investigators call “an attack on staff” Monday.

According to the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, it started when two inmates at the maximum security state prison refused to comply with officers’ orders, causing a “disturbance” in the mess hall. They were ordered to leave the mess hall, but the union said they refused.

An officer grabbed one of those inmates, who allegedly resisted being removed and “continued to be combative” when he was forced to the ground outside the mess hall.

A third inmate who allegedly ran toward an exit was grabbed by staff and forced against a wall. At that point, the union claims other inmates approached staff “in a threatening manner.”

Three inmates then allegedly grabbed two officers near the exit. An officer attempting to intervene was punched in the head.

At that point, the union says another inmate pulled another staff member into a hand rail in the mess hall and punched him in the head. A second inmate knocked that staff member unconscious.

Prison staff then used pepper spray on a number of inmates, three of whom “became compliant.” A fourth inmate allegedly continued attacking staff until pepper spray was again deployed.

The involved inmates were handcuffed and removed from the mess hall. Four of them were transferred to Elmira Correctional Facility, where they were isolated in special housing units. Three others were taken to Attica Correctional Facility and were also isolated in special housing units. Disciplinary charges are pending against all seven.

The union said three inmates were identified as inciting the riot. They were isolated in special housing units at Five Points pending disciplinary charges. 

Three officers and a sergeant were taken to Geneva Hospital for treatment. Three other officers were treated by medical staff on scene and remained on duty. The officer who was knocked unconscious was ultimately taken to Cayuga Medical Center for concussion treatment.

“Simply put, this was an all-out riot and attack on staff. There were 46 inmates in the mess hall at the time of the attack and the officers and sergeant did an excellent job of protecting one another and bringing the situation under control before anyone got seriously hurt. Where it can be applied, I strongly encourage the Seneca County District Attorney to prosecute any inmate that attacked and injured staff.   With the state legislature eliminating any meaningful discipline in the facilities, prosecuting inmates who assault staff is the only way to send a clear message that this will not be tolerated. Anything less is an injustice to those who protect and serve our communities.”

Kenny Gold, Western Region Vice President, New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association