5 ACI guards hurt in attack by inmate

CRANSTON — Five corrections officers were hurt Wednesday in an attack by an out-of-state inmate who had just arrived at the Adult Correctional Institutions’ Intake Service Center, corrections officials said yesterday.

A lieutenant and four officers were hurt badly enough to require hospital treatment, said Dave Mellon, president of the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers. He said the lieutenant needed “multiple stitches” to close wounds he suffered in the attack. Corrections spokeswoman Tracey Z. Poole said the lieutenant and one officer would be off work for an undetermined amount of time.

The assault took place at about 3:45 p.m. in the intake center, Poole said. The convict was identified as Patrick O. Kelly, 46, whom Poole said had been in the Oregon prison system since he was 18.

Elizabeth Craig, spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Corrections, said Kelly was serving a life sentence for aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, assault, supplying contraband and four inmate weapons violations. He had previously completed sentences for kidnapping, robbery and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Craig would not comment on why Oregon officials wanted to send Kelly to a prison in another state.

After arriving at the ACI, Kelly had been put in a cell with another inmate. He asked to speak to a lieutenant, Poole said.

The lieutenant, who was not identified, went to the cell and was attacked by Kelly, she said.

“He sucker-punched him,” Mellon said.

It took four other correctional officers to subdue Kelly, Mellon and Poole said. Kelly was in the prison’s high-security section yesterday, Poole said. He will be returned to Oregon, she added.

There was no weapon involved in the assault, Poole said.

Poole said there was another inmate in the cell at the time of the attack and that inmate confirmed it was Kelly who started the fight.

Mellon said his union had contacted the Oregon correctional officers’ union and they said that Kelly had a history of attacking corrections officers. Mellon said that information should have been communicated to the staff on duty at the time of Kelly’s arrival, so they could have been prepared for a possible attack.

“These officers had no notification,” Mellon said. “ … Somebody dropped the ball. We should have known.”

Poole said the incident was being reviewed by the corrections department’s internal affairs staff and the state police. She declined to comment on what kind of information the department had on Kelly or how it was distributed, but she did say he was not transferred to Rhode Island because of a history of violence against corrections staff.

Mellon was skeptical of that claim.

“We don’t transfer good inmates around,” Mellon said. “We send them our problem inmates, for various reasons, and they send us theirs.”

source: http://www.projo.com/news/content/GUARDS_ASSAULTED_01-16-09_IMCVPKL_v20.3c7be01.html

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