Inmate charged with attacking two Lackawanna County prison guards

Nov. 19—A woman already jailed on assault charges attacked a female Lackawanna County Prison guard who tried to ensure she took her medication, according to arrest papers.

County detective Vince Butkiewicz charged Teyanna Davis, 26, listed as homeless, with punching corrections officer Ruth Gavin-Sayer repeatedly in the face and elsewhere on the head, and then punching another officer, Paula Slack, who came to her colleague's aid.

The attack happened about 8 p.m. Oct. 13 as a nurse distributed medications to inmates.

Davis is charged with two counts each of aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment. She was transferred to the Luzerne County Prison where she remains, unable to post $25,000 bail.

Gavin-Sayer suffered small cuts on her left hand, a bruise between two fingers, scratches on her chest and felt a headache and ear soreness. Both guards sought treatment at Geisinger Community Medical Center.

During a prison board meeting Wednesday, Warden Tim Betti said one guard still has not returned to work, and the other returned "within a few days." He did not identify either and efforts to reach him Friday were unsuccessful.

"The assault took place during a medication pass and it appears to have been spontaneous and unprovoked," Betti told the board. "As a result of her actions, she was placed in the emergency restraint chair for the safety of all."

The altercation started when Davis rested her elbows on the medical cart, standing close to a nurse distributing medication to inmates. Gavin-Sayer ordered her to move away, but Davis ignored her, according to Butkiewicz's arrest affidavit.

Davis "quickly took her medication, turning to go back into her (cell) block," he wrote.

Gavin-Sayer asked her to show that she swallowed the medication by opening her mouth. Davis ignored her so Gavin-Sayer repeated the order.

Davis pointed her finger at Gavin-Sayer, who repeated the order one more time and grabbed Davis by the arm to stop her from leaving.

Davis began punching. Gavin-Sayer called a "code blue" for help as she ducked her head to avoid the blows. Slack arrived, and both guards squirted Davis with pepper spray. Davis landed about 20 punches before settling down.

"OK, I'm done," Davis said before finally submitting to restraint.

"She should have minded her own business," Davis later told Slack, according to the affidavit. "It wasn't you I wanted, so now I'm mad at you."

Davis was at the prison because police say she attacked two Community Medical Center staff members on Aug. 16. Her ex-boyfriend brought her there for an "involuntary mental health evaluation," according to an arrest affidavit filed by Scranton Patrolman Nathan Manning.

Davis punched both and threatened "to go on a murder spree" and make them "her first two victims."

Both staff members subdued her, but suffered swelling, bruising or redness on their faces from her punches. Staff medicated her to calm her down after that.

She is charged with two counts each of aggravated assault, simple assault and making terroristic threats in this case.

Preliminary hearings in both are scheduled for Jan. 23 at 11 a.m.

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