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

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary


For Immediate Release
March 24, 2000
Updated at 4:30 p.m.
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Correctional Officers
Wounded by Inmate

TALLAHASSEE - Three correctional officers were hospitalized this morning after an inmate attacked them at Polk Correctional Institution in Polk City.

Sgt. Michael Cunningham, Officer Karen Pippin and Officer William Groves were attacked by inmate Reginald Henry (DC# 121864) at 8:05 am. Henry was wielding an 11-inch homemade knife, or "shank" that he fashioned out of a piece of galvanized metal.

Sgt. Cunningham and Officer Pippin were leaving the dormitory where inmate Henry was incarcerated when Henry first attacked Sgt. Cunningham by striking him in the face. He then used the shank to stab officer Pippin twice in the neck. Henry then stabbed officer Groves in the stomach when he tried to assist his fellow officers.

Henry was subdued by other officers arriving on the scene. The shank was recovered just outside the dormitory. The injured officers were immediately transported to a local hospital. Sgt. Cunningham was examined and released, and officers Pippin and Groves remain in stable condition.

DOC is conducting a full investigation, including how inmate Henry was able to obtain the metal shank. Shortly after the attack, the prison was locked down and a cell-by-cell search conducted for contraband.

The State Attorney's Office will determine any charges against Henry. He is serving a 30-year sentence for attempted robbery with a firearm in Clay County.

See 3/27/00 update for more information.