A Wyoming Correctional Facility inmate who remains hospitalized in Erie County Medical Center with a serious stab wound to his upper chest is part of a growing trend of assaults, many of them apparently gang-related, according to the union for corrections officers.
Overcrowding and a more violent inmate population at the Attica facility are being blamed for these latest assaults, according to Mike Dildine, vice president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association.
Vincent Blasio, secretary for the union, called the Wyoming facility “a hotbed for gang-related assaults,” leading the spate of what have been classified as “unusual incidents.”
“It means there is a problem. Most of it is inmate-on-inmate, gang-related assaults,” Blasio said.
He noted that closing of facilities by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has resulted in younger and more violent inmates being transferred to medium-security facilities like Wyoming.
In the recent incident, Traquindus Strickland, 20, an inmate at Wyoming who is serving a two-to-six-year sentence for burglary in Herkimer County, was on a walkway headed for lunch at 1 p.m. Friday when he allegedly was stabbed by another inmate.
Strickland was taken to Wyoming County Community Hospital, Warsaw, and then transferred to ECMC, where he underwent emergency surgery. His condition is unknown.
Corrections officers locked down the facility and searched the area where Strickland was stabbed but did not find a weapon.
Dorms were shut down, and other searches were conducted. Several makeshift weapons were located, according to a report released by Dildine.
No one has been charged in Friday’s stabbing; the investigation is continuing.
It is the latest in a series of serious assaults that have occurred at the facility since the beginning of the year.
In one six-day stretch, there were seven inmate-on-inmate assaults, according to a report released by the union.
In a separate incident, a Wyoming inmate has been charged with attacking three correctional officers, including a sergeant who suffered a serious head injury.
Police say 19-year-old Khamari Brown assaulted two guards late last month in a dorm. Troopers say he later assaulted a sergeant outside the prison hospital.
Brown has been charged with three counts of assault. He is serving a sentence for attempted burglary committed in the Syracuse area.
Police say he’s due back in Wyoming County Court later to answer the charges.
Information on the extent of the sergeant’s injuries wasn’t released.