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6 Mass. inmates indicted in attack on corrections officers

State Corrections attack
State Corrections attack

Six inmates at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center are facing charges after six corrections officers were injured in a melee Monday morning, Worcester County prosecutors said.

The fight broke out about 11:40 a.m. Monday in the K-2 housing unit. Five of the officers were seen at a local hospital’s emergency room, but none of their injuries were serious, prosecutors said.

The inmates allegedly started the fight with three corrections officers. Several more officers arrived and ended the assault.

The six inmates were indicted Friday on a total of 18 charges. They are to be arraigned at a future date, Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.’s office said.


The prison, the sole state prison that houses only maximum-security inmates, remained on lockdown Friday.

Dramatic surveillance video released by the Department of Correction depicted the attack.

The video, which the department said was blurred to comply with state privacy regulations, shows one inmate approach what looks like a reception desk area where corrections officers are stationed. There is no protective barrier between the officers and the inmates, according to the DOC.

After having what appears to be a brief conversation with the officers, the inmate starts walking away, but then changes course, moves quickly behind the reception desk, and begins assaulting the officers.

During the ensuing struggle, one officer is attacked simultaneously by at least three inmates, one of whom picks up a chair and can be seen on the video slamming the chair into the officer.

Another officer is able to break away from the attack, trigger the emergency closure of cell doors, and alert a wave of other officers, who arrive about 40 seconds afterwards and bring the incident to an end.

A DOC spokesman said the video shows that the attack was a premeditated attack because while one inmate is at the reception desk, another inmate quickly changes from shower shoes to sneakers and then joins the fracas when it breaks out seconds later.


The motive for the attack is under investigation.

According to the DOC, one officer remains under a concussion protocol.

Officials did not say whether any inmates were taken to a hospital or were treated inside the facility for their injuries.

Although 12 inmates were in the cellblock at the time of the incident, only six participated in the attack, according to the DOC.

“There is never a time where it is appropriate for an inmate to put their hands on any staff member,’’ the DOC wrote in the posting on YouTube. “Through the resilience and training of the officers involved and the quick efforts by responding staff, life-threatening injuries were prevented in this incident.”

Those facing charges are: Kevin Semiglia, 28, of Chelsea; Buthchhay Chourb, 29, of Lynn; Jacquan McKenzie, 23, of Lynn; Tiberias Albert, 25, of Fall River; Javante A. Antone, 22, of New Bedford; and Jamaul W. Vital, 23, of Medford. They face anywhere from one to five counts of assault and battery on a correction officer. Chourb also faces two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Chourb and McKenzie face enhanced penalties as habitual criminals, prosecutors said.

Martin Finucane and Steve Annear of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.