Officers hurt at Gowanda Correctional Facility last weekend

GOWANDA – Four correction officers were injured this past weekend at the Gowanda Correctional Facility in three separate incidents.

On Saturday just after 10 p.m., an officer was exiting one of the yard towers and as he was climbing down the steps, the entry latch above him fell on both of his arms. The officer lost his balance and fell approximately five feet down the stairs to the landing below. The officer noticed his arm was bleeding significantly so he took his shirt off and wrapped it around the wound to control the bleeding.

He was treated by a nurse at the facility and sent to Erie County Medical Center for a compound fracture. The officer was later released from the hospital. Preliminary investigation revealed a hydraulic cylinder on the entry hatch was broken and the tower remained closed awaiting repair.

On Sunday, shortly after 7 a.m., a sergeant assigned to one of the dorm rooms witnessed two inmates step out of line and start attacking another inmate. The two inmates were punching and kicking the third inmate. The inmates finally complied and were removed from the dorm. The same sergeant then witnessed another inmate move off the line and enter another room and began punching another inmate. The sergeant gave both inmates orders to stop, but they initially refused.

Inmate Tyshon Myles was grabbed by the sergeant, who attempted to pull him away from the fight. Myles allegedly struck the sergeant twice in the face with his fists and the sergeant was able to force Myles to the floor. Myles continued to fight with the sergeant until another officer arrived and was able to help restrain Myles.

One officer was taken to Lake Shore Hospital for injuries to his back and shoulder and was released. Two officers were treated at the facility for shoulder and wrist injuries in addition to cuts and abrasions. All three officers did not return to duty. The sergeant received treatment at the facility but remained on duty.

All inmates are facing internal disciplinary charges. Myles is serving a 7-year-sentence for being convicted of first-degree burglary in Monroe County in 2011.

“This weekend’s incidents at Gowanda are prime examples of the dangerous work environment that all correction officers face inside the facilities across the state. One officer sustained a serious injury to his arm from a fall from a tower that appears was caused by a safety issue with the hatch in that tower. Our hope is that DOCCS is committed to providing the safest work environment for our members and that this type of unnecessary incident doesn’t happen again,” Mike Dildine, western regional vice president for New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, Inc., said.