The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 16, 2014

Investigation: Weapon used in attack on county prison officers

— SUNBURY — A “homemade metal weapon” was used in the attack against three corrections officers at the Northumberland County Prison on Friday, according to prison officials.

The incident, which put the facility on lockdown until Tuesday, was not discussed at the prison board meeting Wednesday morning, but Warden Roy Johnson and board Vice Chairman Rick Shoch revealed new information following the meeting.

However, both officials still kept much of the information quiet, stating the investigation is still being conducted by the Sunbury Police Department and charges have not yet been filed.

Police Chief Stephen Mazzeo confirmed Wednesday that no charges were filed, and Cpl. Jamie Quinn was actively investigating by obtaining the surveillance video and interviewing witnesses of the incident. Quinn will then discuss the charges with District Attorney Tony Rosini and proceed from there, he said.

“We’re being thorough. He (the suspect) is in jail, and he’s not going anywhere,” Mazzeo said, noting the suspect is no longer in Northumberland County’s facility.

The weapon was “fashioned” by a state inmate who was being housed in the lockup while he awaited a hearing and was confiscated by city officers after the attacker was subdued, Shoch said.

The inmate attacked two correctional officers, who received medical attention and were back to work shortly after the morning incident, and a third correctional officer received minor injuries when he helped stop the attacker, he said.

“Thank goodness the staff only had minor injuries, and they all returned to work,” the warden said.

The state Department of Corrections was asked to assist in “shaking down” the prison, but they were not able to make it to the county this weekend, Johnson said.

They are, however, assisting city police in the investigation, he said.

The lockdown was partially lifted Tuesday and some inmate privileges were reinstated, and it was fully lifted by Wednesday’s prison board meeting.

Shoch and Johnson did not release any further details on the incident, and were unable to provide a timeline in which charges would be filed.

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