DOC: Corrections officer attacked at Winslow prison

WINSLOW, AZ - Department of Corrections officials say a female corrections officer was assaulted at the Winslow prison Friday afternoon.

According to DOC spokesman Bill Lamoreaux, the officer was attacked by two inmates in the Kaibab unit of the facility.

Lamoreaux said the officer suffered a broken nose and cheekbone. He said he believes the officer was taken to the Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment.

The longtime boyfriend of the officer tells ABC15 she is recovering while in between a few reconstructive surgeries.

"She is my life," said Bill who asked us not to use his last name or his girlfriend's first name.

Bill says his girlfriend, Officer Benavidez, was alone with more than 50 unshackled inmates when two men jumped her, punching and kicking her for several minutes while other inmates watched.

"It was several minutes before other guards came to her rescue," said Bill. "They were trying to kill her."

But Bill is more upset at prison staff than the prisoners because he says the unit is always understaffed.

"They (the officers) just hope they aren't attacked. There is no real security in there for them. They just have to hope the inmates don't do anything," says Bill.

The Department of Corrections issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

There were 788 inmates and 167 security staff assigned to the Kaibab Unit Friday. Ensuring the safety of the public, staff and inmates is always a paramount concern of the Department. In a correctional setting, contraband is always a concern and Correctional Officers remain vigilant in the effort to keep contraband out of the prison.

This case remains under investigation.  As a result, the Department is not able to discuss the assault until the investigation is concluded. Criminal prosecution of the inmates involved in this assault will be pursued by the Department upon the completion of this investigation.



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