WARSAW, NY - Four corrections officers at the Attica Correctional Facility were arrested Tuesday and charged with assault for an alleged attack on an inmate over the summer.
The indictment from a Wyoming County grand jury also charges Keith Swack, 37, of Corfu, Sgt. Sean Warner, 37, of Belfast, Matthew Raddemacher, 29 of Wyoming, and Erik Hibsch, 28, of Gainesville with conspiracy, tampering with physical evidence, official misconduct and offering a false instrument for filing.
Read the indictment against the officers here.
The Wyoming County District Attorney's Office alleges the four conspired to assault the inmate on August 9th causing him serious physical injuries. It's also alleged that following the assault that Warner allegedly gave false statements to the Correctional Facility.
Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O'Geen added the four falsely claimed the inmate in question had a razor.
All of the officers appeared for arraignment in Wyoming County Court Tuesday morning where they pled not guilty. Bail was set at $25,000 each. They are due back in court in February. They've been suspended without pay since September.
The charges are a culmination of a four month investigation by the NYS Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the NYS Inspector General's Office and the Department of Corrections and Community Services.
"What everyone needs to remember as this case goes forward is that this is an indictment of four individuals and not an indictment of the noble profession of corrections officers," said D.A. O'Geen. "Day in and day out there are men and women who honorably guard the prisoners within our system and this indictment should not in any way shed any negative light on those who perform their duties each and every day. No one is above the law and we will continue to treat this case like every other case as this case proceeds through the criminal justice system in a fair and equitable manner."
The officers face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the charges against them.
Peter Cutler, spokesperson for the Department of Corrections, released the following statement on behalf of Commissioner Brian Fischer regarding the arrests:
"The indictments announced today by the Wyoming County District Attorney against four Attica Correctional Facility security employees are very troubling. The paramount responsibility of our Department is to uphold our legal obligation to ensure the safety and security of the offenders in our custody and the employees we're responsible for at each facility.
When an alleged assault occurs in any DOCCS facility, we investigate it thoroughly and take the appropriate action, including, when appropriate, referring the matter to the State Police for criminal investigation and the District Attorney for prosecution - whether the incident involves offenders or staff.
As with any criminal investigation and prosecution, we will cooperate fully with every agency involved in this matter."
The head of the officers' union, Donn Rowe said "Certainly as an organization we're disappointed at the situation in Wyoming County, but our members have the toughest job in law enforcement and place their lives on the line everyday working inside maximum security facilities."