Officer Held Hostage at Vaughn Suffered Physical Injuries - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Officer Held Hostage at Vaughn Suffered Physical Injuries

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State police in tactical gear stand at the main gate of James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 2, 2017. (Photo: WBOC Chopper 16) State police in tactical gear stand at the main gate of James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 2, 2017. (Photo: WBOC Chopper 16)

DOVER, Del. -- A lawyer representing one of two correctional officers who survived the hostage situation at the Vaughn Correctional Center said his cliet suffered a number of physical injuries as well as severe psychological stress during the inmate uprising, which saw the death of a correctional officer.

Thomas Neuberger, an attorney who is part of a team of lawyers representing several staff members who were in Building C when inmates took control of it, said Joshua Wilkinson, suffered physical injuries like a broken nose and fractures to an eye socket from being beaten by inmates during the incident and required surgery. He said Wilkinson was also diagnosed with acute stress disorder and could not speak with a reporter about his experience.

Wilkinson, who had only started working as a CO just weeks prior, was one of three officers taken hostage by inmates on Feb. 1. He and Winslow Smith, a fellow correctional officer, were released to law enforcement during the ordeal. Steven Floyd, a correctional officer who was also held hostage, was discovered dead when law enforcement stormed the prison building the next day.

Neuberger said the experience had deeply affected Wilkinson, whom he said had wondered "Why didn't I die?" following the hostage situation, which saw him kept inside of a closet by inmates until he was released.

Wilkinson was used as a pawn in negotiations with law enforcement, Neuberger said. Authorities have said they returned water back to Building C, though it was used to fill lockers that were used to barricade inmates within the structure.

Wilkinson, Smith, and Floyd's family are among 10 clients who are being represented by Neuberger and a group of attorneys preparing possible legal action targeting various current and former state officials and some prison staff members who the lawyers allege failed to implement changes recommended following the abduction and rape of a counselor at Vaughn in 2004.

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