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:

Monday, November 2, 1998

Attica inmate faces charges in attempted escape

An inmate at the Attica Correctional Facility faces attempted escape-related charges today after he cut through a window cell bar and exited a cell block, only to be discovered within the prison some 60 minutes later - hiding under a blanket near an inmate recreation yard, an area accessible to inmates.

Commissioner Goord said, "Even though this was an attempted escape, any such incident will be dealt with severely. Inmates must know that any attempted breach of security will bring criminal charges and the harshest penalties that the law allows."

Inmate Paul Garrett, 33, was observed in his cell today during the 5 a.m. count. He was reported missing at 5:30 a.m. by an Officer delivering meals to three other inmates on the gallery, who were scheduled for early transport for medical visits at outside facilities.

Garrett apparently cut through one of the perpendicular bars in the window in the back of his first-floor cell, which is on the outer wall of C-Block but still within the perimeter wall of the facility. After removing the bar and crawling through the window behind it, he then cut through the security screening on the outside of the window frame and exited the cellblock.

Once outside the block, Garrett crossed approximately 200 feet to outside of the E-Block recreation yard. He secreted himself under a blanket in the grass. He was discovered there by Officers searching for him at approximately 6:30 a.m. Investigators are interviewing Garrett at Attica, where he will remain housed.

A morning inspection determined there was no tampering with other cell bars in the prison. As a result, the facility is running normal operations and programs today. Attica today houses 2,194 inmates. Its capacity is 2,240 inmates.

Because Commissioner Goord intends to see Garrett prosecuted for attempted escape and possibly other related charges, no other information on the incident will be released, in order to avoid compromising the probe headed by the Wyoming County District Attorney. An investigation is continuing by this Department's Inspector General and by the Division of State Police.

Garrett is already serving a sentence of 33_ years to life following convictions for second-degree murder, criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree robbery in Queens County, plus a first-degree robbery count in Nassau County. Garrett was received into the system on June 13, 1990. His parole eligibility date is June 10, 2022.