Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182

For immediate release:

Thursday, November 20, 1997

Franklin inmate to face charges after C.O. taken hostage

An inmate at the Franklin Correctional Facility will face criminal charges after he allegedly took a female Correction Officer hostage today at this medium-security prison housing 1,721 inmates in Malone.

Inmate Wayne Chapple allegedly pointed a homemade knife to the Officer's throat at approximately 12:30 p.m. today in a dormitory and forced the Officer into a nearby storeroom. He allegedly took the Officer's keys and radio before she could pull her personal alarm, and locked them both inside the storeroom. The Officer said that, during the 7-8 minutes they were in the storeroom, the inmate first attempted to use an electrical cord to hang himself, and then stabbed himself in the chest 5-6 times with his homemade knife.

The inmate then exited the storeroom and was apprehended a few minutes later near an outdoor exercise yard. The Officer left the storeroom and summoned assistance to report the incident.

The facility was immediately locked down following the incident, meaning all inmates are confined to their cubicles in their dormitory-style housing units, while staff search for the weapon the inmate allegedly used during the attack.

The Officer sustained a reddening of the neck from the inmate's weapon and a bruise to the shoulder where the inmate pushed her against a wall. She is being interviewed on the incident and also receiving services from the Employee Assistance Program and the facility chaplain. It is the department's policy not to disclose the names of employees attacked by inmates.

The inmate is receiving treatment for his wounds at Alice Hyde Hospital in Malone, and then will be transferred to the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.

Chapple, 30, is serving a sentence of 5-10 years out of New York County on a conviction for grand larceny. He is eligible for parole in January of 2000 and his maximum sentence expires in January 2007. He has been at Franklin Correctional Facility since August 20.

Besides the Department's Inspector General, the Division of State Police has been called in to investigate the incident.

"I will not tolerate any assault against a Correctional employee, " Commissioner Glenn S. Goord said after the incident. "I have asked the Division of State Police to prosecute this inmate to the fullest extent of the law."