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Inmates allegedly attacked a Florida Department of Corrections officer at a state prison Sunday afternoon before other prisoners and officers were able to rescue him, a report said.
The officer sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
Following the 2 p.m. attack at Sumter Correctional Institution near Orlando, the unnamed officer was taken to a local hospital and is in stable condition, the Department of Corrections reported.
The prison, now with 17 confirmed coronavirus cases, is the third state penitentiary to see a rise in COVID-19 cases, the Miami Herald reported.
As of Sunday evening, 113 inmates and 80 staff members statewide had tested positive for COVID-19, up from 85 and 78 one day prior. At Sumter Correctional, the cases rose from seven to 24 Sunday.
“I want to commend the staff and inmates who came to this officer’s aid during this vicious attack,” said Florida Secretary of the Department of Corrections Mark Inch in a news release. “Our officer showed courage and perseverance under extreme duress,” the newspaper reported.
Officials said the dorm involved in the attack was not under medical isolation, but the entire facility had been on restricted movement like virtually every other prison in the state. Such lockdowns, which restrict access to commissaries and showers, are known to exacerbate conditions for prisoners and officers alike.
Jill Trask, whose friend is incarcerated at Sumter Correctional, told the paper that the prisoners are scared of being exposed and are “starting to panic.”
The Florida Department of Corrections’ Office of Inspector General is investigating the alleged attack, which could result in criminal charges, the newspaper reported.