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A prison inmate attacked a corrections officer Friday night with a handmade, foot-long shank, an Arkansas Department of Correction spokeswoman said Saturday.

The inmate at the Maximum Security Unit at Tucker stabbed a sergeant five times while she was passing a food tray to him around 4 p.m. Friday, department spokeswoman Dina Tyler said. The weapon was a shank made from a copper pipe, she said.

The officer was not injured, although there were multiple holes in her shirt and stab-resistant vest.

A statement from the department did not identify the inmate or the officer.

"A Correctional Sergeant at the Maximum Security Unit is alive tonight because she did everything right when an inmate viciously attacked her," the statement read. "She responded with defensive tactics, radioed for help and held him off until officers swarmed him."

The statement said the inmate wanted to "settle the score" after the sergeant had taken contraband from him earlier in the day. The shank is shown next to a ruler in a photo posted to the department's Facebook page. The sharpened copper pipe appears to be about 13 inches long.

Tyler said the inmate ripped the pipe out of the sink in his cell.

The inmate has since been moved to the Varner SuperMax lockup, Tyler said.

An investigation is underway, after which the prisoner could face more restrictive housing and other disciplinary actions.

The released statement said the inmate has attacked other prisoners and officers in the past. He is serving life without parole after a conviction in two homicides, Tyler said.

Without the protective vest, the officer who was attacked Friday "very well could be dead," Tyler said. "I think sometimes people gloss over the dangers these officers face."

Metro on 11/17/2019

Print Headline: Prison inmate attacks officer with shank

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