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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


For Immediate Release
October 23, 2000
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

ASSAULT ADVISORY
Inmate Attacks Correctional Officer
at Martin CI

INDIANTOWN - An inmate attacked a correctional officer at Martin Correctional Institution this morning. Inmate Frankie Derizzo (DC# 553444/DOB: 5-5-78) attacked correctional officer Emory Polley at approximately 10:30 am. The attack occurred on the prison recreation yard after officer Polley noticed inmate Pedro Betancourt (DC# 465428/DOB: 4-26-77) acting suspiciously. Officer Polley suspected Betancourt possessed a homemade knife.

When the officer approached Betancourt to question him, Derizzo came up from behind and used his fist to strike the officer above the right eye. It is believed that Derizzo assaulted officer Polley to prevent him from seizing Betancourt's knife. Both inmates then fled into the prison, where they were apprehended.

Additional staff arrived to assist officer Polley, who received stitches for his wound at Martin Memorial Hospital in Stuart. The knife was recovered from a trashcan on inmate Betancourt's cellblock.

Inmate Derizzo is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in Dade County. The Department of Corrections will recommend to the State Attorney's Office that he be charged with battery on a law enforcement officer. No criminal charges are expected to be filed against inmate Betancourt. However, both inmates will be transferred to another prison pending an evaluation of their status.

Assault Advisory is issued by the Department of Corrections whenever a correctional officer or probation officer is attacked in the line of duty.