An inmate accused of slashing an officer’s throat at Manitoba’s Stony Mountain Institution on Wednesday has a long history of violence behind bars, according to the union that represents staff at the prison.
James Bloomfield of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers said the officer was asking the accused to return to his cell when the inmate suddenly jumped at him, allegedly slashing him across the neck with a homemade knife.
“It was a simple, blind attack directed toward the officer and intended to kill,” Bloomfield told 680 CJOB on Thursday morning.
Bloomfield said the injured officer was attended to by medical staff at the prison before being airlifted by STARS air ambulance to hospital in Winnipeg.
READ MORE: Inmate stabbed at Stony Mountain Institution
He said the officer has since been released from hospital and is recovering at home.
In a release on Thursday, Correctional Service Canada (CSC) said an officer was assaulted around 6:30 p.m. in Stony Mountain’s structured intervention unit (SIU) but didn’t confirm the officer’s injuries.
Accused has history of violence, union says
Bloomfield said the SIU is an area that houses “problematic inmates” at the federal multi-security prison. He said the inmate had been moved to the unit after previous assaults against officers.
He said the inmate, who hasn’t been named, has a long history of violence within the federal prison system, including having time added to his sentence for threatening staff at a prison in another province.
“He was then moved out to this area of the country and he’s continued his behaviour of threatening staff and assaulting staff,” said Bloomfield.
“Just a little over a week ago, the inmate had twice assaulted staff and then was housed in the structured intervention unit, and that’s where this occurred.”
Stonewall RCMP say they are investigating the reported assault and have identified a suspect.
The major crime unit is investigating, but there was no word on any charges as of Thursday morning.
Bloomfield said the inmate will ultimately be moved from Stony Mountain.
“He will be shipped to the highest level of security that we have,” he said.
“But for the officers at the institution, they will be through the recovery process for a while now, trying to get back to some normalcy.”
‘A tremendously traumatic event’
Bloomfield said several of the prison’s staff who were working Wednesday are off now also taking time off work to recover from what they saw.
“With the fast action of the ambulance attendants, our nursing staff and STARS, thankfully, we were able to get this officer to the hospital in time,” he said.
“What they dealt with last night was a tremendously traumatic event.”
CSC said “appropriate actions” have been taken against the accused, and an investigation is ongoing into the incident.
READ MORE: Inmate at Stony Mountain Institution dies
“We do not tolerate violence in our institutions,” a CSC spokesperson said in an email to Global News.
“Disciplinary action is taken and criminal charges can be laid against offenders involved in violent incidents.
Police say more information will be released as the investigation continues.