PONTIAC — Union officials are confirming that three members of a tactical team at Pontiac were stabbed Monday by an inmate armed with a homemade weapon.
Eddie Caumiant, regional director for AFSCME Council 31, says the staff members were stabbed while performing an extraction of the inmate from his cell, and that while some of the injuries were “nasty” none were life threatening.
According to Caumiant, the inmate had a weapon and said he would use it on anyone who entered the cell, and so the tactical team was called to enter the cell and remove the inmate. However, the inmate hid under his bunk and used the weapon on the officers as they attempted to restrain him.
Nicole Wilson, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Corrections confirms the report, saying that “IDOC is investigating an inmate on staff assault which happened at Pontiac Correctional Center on Monday, March 23, at 11:50a.m.
Wilson says Pontiac staff received a tip that a segregation inmate, 53-year-old Henry Mounson, had a weapon in his cell and when they went to investigate, the inmate refused all orders to be handcuffed.
Wilson also confirms that Mounson was a transfer from the former super-max facility at Tamms, and while housed at the now shuttered facility he assaulted staff on more than a dozen occasions – including clawing an officer in the face, throwing urine and feces on an officer, spitting on an officer, and pinching an officer.
According to Wilson, the tactical team entered the Mounson’s cell Monday in full protective gear, but the inmate hid under the bed and used a homemade weapon to injure officers as they tried to restrain him. Three officers suffered non-life threatening injuries and were taken by state vehicle to a local hospital for treatment.
One officer suffered three puncture wounds in the right leg and two in the left leg. Another suffered one puncture wound in the hand and one in the forearm. The third officer suffered one puncture wound to the wrist.
Wilson says the IDOC takes all staff assaults seriously and has every intention to pursue charges against the inmate.
Caumiant says Monday’s incident is an example of the importance of the shuttered Tamms, saying that after Monday’s incident the corrections department has nowhere to go with the inmate.
Mounson was originally sentenced to 35-years in IDOC on murder and aggravated battery convictions out of Kankakee County. He has subsequently been convicted of being a felon in possession of a weapon in Randolph County while an inmate at the maximum security facility at Menard, and three aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm convictions out of Livingston County.