Saturday, April 14, 2007

DOC says officer in serious condition

By Daniela Velazquez

Jefferson Correctional Institution Officer Randall Handley is in "serious" condition after an "unprovoked attack" by inmate Steven Gambles Thursday morning, said spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger of the Department of Corrections.

Handley, 57, is at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.

Officials would not release his condition.
"This wasn’t a fight, it was a completely unprovoked attack," Plessinger said.

She wouldn’t elaborate on the circumstances but no weapon was involved.

Gambles, 42, was immediately transferred to the Florida State Prison in Raiford, where his classification is being re-evaluated.

Gambles was in "closed custody" — assigned to a cell by himself — at the Jefferson County prison for a five-year sentence for 2002 charges out of Palm Beach County for robbery, violently resisting arrest and aggravated battery on a law-enforcement officer.

Gov. Charlie Crist and DOC Secretary Jim McDonough visited Handley at TMH Thursday, Plessinger said. In fiscal year 2005 to 2006, DOC recorded 551 assaults on officers by inmates—19 of those officers were sent to an outside facility for medical care, Plessinger said.

There are more than 90,000 inmates in the state correction system.

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