Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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Deputies attacked at Erie County Holding Center

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Buffalo: Deputies attacked at Erie County Holding Center
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Four deputies are attacked within a 12-hour period at the Erie County Holding Center. YNN's Katie Cummings spoke with the holding center superintendent about the incidents and what steps they will take moving forward.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — "The logical target of frustration and aggression in this environment is the staff," said Thomas Diina, Erie County Holding Center Superintendent.

Diina is looking into two separate attacks on four of the deputies within the Erie County Holding Center. He says it's unusual to have two attacks so close to each other.

The first happened Thursday around 11 p.m. when 22-year-old Lakita Hawkins was being re-assigned to a new housing unit.

"During the course of moving her from one side to the other, she attacked the deputies facilitating that move, and struck her multiple times in the head and chest," said Diina.

The second occurred Friday morning when 20-year-old Devan Hunley was being brought back to his cell from a disciplinary hearing.

"The escort officer was properly behind the inmate taking him back to this unit. As soon as the door opened, he went for the officer that was working that area," said Diina.

According to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, Hunley slammed the deputy’s head and face into a metal fire door. Other officers responded and another deputy was hurt before Hunley was eventually restrained. All four deputies were treated for various injuries and released.

Diina says the holding center will review its procedure to see if changes need to be made.

"Ultimately, every person who works in here needs to feel confident that they’re going to come here, work their shift in a safe and secure environment, and go home to their families at the end of the day," said Diina.

All four deputies will be off duty for at least a week. Hawkins was charged with felony assault. Criminal charges against Hunley are still pending.

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