Dayton Correctional Institution, staff accused of negligence in officer’s assault

A lawsuit alleges Dayton Correctional Institution, its staff and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction were negligent in protecting and caring for a corrections officer who was reportedly injured in an assault by an inmate two years ago.

The February 2022 attack left corrections officer Karen Bleise “seriously and permanently injured,” according to the civil suit. She suffered a broken nose, orbital fractures, post traumatic stress disorder, a concussion, a traumatic brain injury and memory and hearing loss, according to Montgomery County Common Pleas Court records.

In addition to DCI and ODRC, DCI Warden Shelbie Smith, Deputy Warden Greg Craft, Deputy Warden Rudy Pringle, Maj. Phillip Walker and Yvette Hogan also were named as defendants.

They are accused of gross negligence, recklessness and willful wanton behavior; intentional infliction of emotional distress; and breach of contract.

The defendants failed to maintain proper safety procedures and policies and did not provide the number of necessary corrections officers to maintain order in the cellblock, according to court records.

The lawsuit claims those failures allowed an inmate, Mary Page, to attack Bleise and that Bleise’s calls for help were not answered in a timely manner.

The defendants allegedly tried to place the fault on Bleise and required her to return to work the next day, the lawsuit says.

Bleise is seeking a judgment in excess of $25,000 for each of the three counts.

Page was indicted on one count of assault in September 2022, according to court documents. She was sentenced to one year at the Ohio Reformatory for Women after she pleaded guilty in December 2022.

The ODRC declined to issue a statement, saying it does not comment on pending litigation.

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