24'06'2011 - Two Hawke’s Bay Prison officers were taken to hospital yesterday after being viciously attacked by two 17-year-old inmates at the prison’s Youth Unit.
The officers were carrying out their normal duties in the unit at noon when they were approached by the youths and “assaulted without warning”, Department of Corrections chief executive Ray Smith said.
Fellow prison officers acted quickly to stop the attack.
“The situation was managed extremely well,” Mr Smith said.
“I am very proud of the skill staff demonstrated in resolving the situation as quickly as they did and without further incident.”
Both men were taken to Hawke’s Bay Hospital for assessment. One was discharged this morning, while the other remained in a stable condition.
It was not clear what injuries they received as a result of the attack.
“What we do know at this stage is that their injuries were not life threatening,” Mr Smith said.
It also wasn’t known what caused the prisoners to lash out.
“At this stage we have no other information as to why the two prisoners assaulted staff.”
The fire service was also called to the Youth Unit shortly before the attack when furniture was set on fire.
One fire truck remained on standby at the unit until the incident was over.
Yesterday’s incident is the third at Hawke’s Bay Prison in as many weeks, and follows a roof top stand-off and a copycat protest where prisoners refused to go back into their cells after a deliberately lit fire caused an evacuation of their cell block.
Police are yet to charge the prisoners involved with the roof top protest, but an investigation into the incident is under way.