South Carolina prison officials say a correctional officer’s injuries during a Monday prison incident are not life-threatening, but that he was taken hostage and beaten by an inmate.
Department of Corrections (SCDC) director Bryan Stirling said the unidentified guard was assaulted at Perry Correctional Institution near the town of Pelzer. The State Law Enforcement Division and several Upstate law enforcement agencies assisted SCDC officers at the high-security facility that houses violent offenders.
Stirling said the situation began around 1 p.m. Monday when an inmate took the officer hostage, assaulted him and released him. The officer was later taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. A team of officers was assembled at around 4 p.m. to respond to the incident. The situation was contained and controlled about an hour later.
“It is a rare event,” Stirling told reporters during a quick briefing outside the prison. “However, as we know, correctional facilities do post certain risks. But we’re trained for those risks.”
The situation was contained to one dorm in the prison and no resistance was apparently offered when law enforcement entered to restore order, according to Corrections officials.
Perry Correctional is a Level Three facility that mainly houses violent crimes inmates with longer sentences and others who have shown behavioral problems during their nonviolent sentence. The dorm involved in Monday’s attack houses about 180 inmates.