A corrections officer was viciously attacked by an inmate. But his union says he shouldn’t expect to get paid while he recovers.
TRENTON, N.J. – A corrections officer in New Jersey was viciously attacked by an armed inmate. Now he’s out work while he recovers… but his local union says he shouldn’t expect any support from the state while he heals — not even a paycheck.
The unidentified corrections officer was attacked Monday while restraining an inmate at New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, leaving him with serious injuries and potential lifelong trauma.
Brian Renshaw is the president of NJSPBA Local 105. He confirmed the incident about Monday’s assault.
“A routine Monday afternoon turned vicious when (the officer) suffered an assault at the hands of an inmate,” said Renshaw.
He said that the brutal assault left the officer with a severe gash on his face.
The inmate was “armed with an edged weapon (and) left a large gash on the left side of his face spanning from his ear to near his lip,” confirmed Renshaw.
New Jersey State Prison reportedly houses the most difficult and dangerous inmates in the state, according to the NJDOC site.
In addition to the slash on his face, Renshaw said the officer also suffered a broken wrist during the ordeal. Following the assault, the officer was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick for immediate treatment.
But now that he’s facing some time away from work to recover from the attack, Renshaw says he shouldn’t expect the state to take care of him.
President Colligan blasts attack on Correctional Police Officer – "Let's be clear, violence against law enforcement knows no boundary. The brutal attack at a NJ State Prison is an outrage. It highlights the need to expand care and treatment for our officers." @NJPBA_LOCAL_105 pic.twitter.com/mWodx8x9pN
— New Jersey State PBA (@NJSPBA) October 24, 2019
The union president says that because the injuries don’t necessarily meet the guidelines for the Sick Leave Injury law, which states an officer must suffer “serious bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or serious, permanent disfiguration,” he should prepare to receive minimal benefits – if any at all.
“If deemed eligible, the officer who was attacked on Monday will receive benefits for only six months,” Renshaw said.
NJ.com reported that a current bill in the legislature would extend that period to 12 months instead of six.
Now, friends and family members are turning elsewhere for help.
More than $3,000 has been raised for the wounded officer through a GoFundMe account that was setup to help provide money and support in a time when the state is likely turning their back.
We’re sick of seeing first responders and members of law enforcement abandoned by their departments after suffering injuries in the line of duty.
The wife of an injured deputy is also sick of it – so she’s taking measures to fight back.
It’s been three years since Deputy Adam Pennell was severely injured in the line of duty. And his wife says that even though their department talks about the importance of family and being there for each other, they turned their back on him when he needed them most.
She says the department broke the law. And now she’s suing them.
Pennell had to learn how to walk again after a 2016 on-duty hit and run crash left him in need of multiple surgeries.
Christin Pennell, who is also a deputy at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, noted that while they said they would always be there to support the injured deputy, their actions say otherwise.
“Betrayal,” Christin Pennell said. “Our agency, they preach that they’re proud of family and that their deputies are family and they’re family oriented. But when the going got tough, we looked around and nobody was there.”
“When we hired him [Pennell], he was healthy,” Judd said. “We have a moral obligation to provide all the health care he needs to get healthy again.”
She said that while in front of the cameras it seemed as though the wounded deputy would never be abandoned…. years later, they’ve found themselves fighting alone.
EXCLUSIVE | This month marks three years since a @PolkCoSheriff Deputy nearly died on the job. Deputy Adam Pennell had to learn to walk again following major surgery. Now ABC Action News is uncovering his wife, also a deputy, is suing PCSO.
— Isabel Rosales (@WFTSisabel) October 23, 2019
ABC News reported that Christin just filed a lawsuit against the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, saying that their neglect wasn’t just cruel, but actually broke the law.
The lawsuit alleges that the sheriff’s office violated the Family and Medical Leave Act and Florida Worker’s Compensation statute when they refused to grant her time off to provide care for her wounded husband. She also said that she was denied time off to attend a survivor’s conference and had been repeatedly denied promotions that she was working toward. Additionally, Christin alleges that the department suspended her husband’s workers’ compensation benefits while he was recovering.
“I felt like we didn’t matter what my husband had just gone through didn’t matter, and they didn’t care what the law said, how we felt, what was right. We need a body back so come back,” Christin said.
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She said it’s been a difficult road and she knows it’s not over yet.
“There’s a lot of heartache. There’s lot of hurt. He’s [Grady Judd] a man of preaching morals and preaching values, preaching family and he didn’t support his own word,” she said.
Deputy Pennell and an elderly woman that he was assisting were struck by a hit and run driver in 2016. The woman was killed and Pennell was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, suffering broken arms, broken ribs and a crushed pelvis, among other injuries.
She has one message for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
“Abide by the law that we swore we’d uphold.”