CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — An inmate currently incarcerated for the 1973 murder of a correctional officer is accused of stabbing another correctional officer Friday, Rhode Island State Police confirmed.
Spokesperson Laura Meade Kirk said John Carillo, 79, allegedly stabbed a correctional officer around 10:30 a.m. Friday at the maximum security building of the Adult Correctional Institutions.
The building is currently on lockdown, a Department of Corrections spokesperson said.
Richard Ferruccio, the president of the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers, said the officer who was stabbed is Jason Messier, a 13-year veteran. He suffered a minor laceration to his chest and was treated and released from Rhode Island Hospital.
Ferruccio said Carillo attacked Messier while the inmates were going back to their cells after breakfast. Messier used pepper spray to subdue him, Ferruccio said.
Ferruccio described the weapon as a “significant long piece of metal sharpened into a knife,” and said officers were now investigating how it was obtained.
“The officer was paying attention and noticed inmate Carillo coming up to him,” Ferruccio said. “If he was complacent, not paying attention, talking to another inmate, not focused on what was going on, this could’ve been a very tragic situation.”
He said Messier’s badge located over his heart helped block the makeshift knife from penetrating. He was able to use pepper spray on Carillo to subdue him.
Carillo is serving a life sentence for the 1973 murder of Donald Price, a correctional officer at the medium security facility. The building was later named for Price, but closed in 2011.
Ferruccio says there was memorial for Price earlier this week as part of Correctional Officer’s Appreciation Week.
“It’s fresh off that memorial service on Tuesday that this happened,” he said. “So it kind of shook a lot of us up.”
Carillo is scheduled to be arraigned at Kent County District Court Tuesday on charges of felony assault, assault on a correctional officer, and disorderly conduct.