New York Corrections Officer Suffers Serious Burns From Exploding Package Outside Of Home In Possible Targeted Attack

A New York corrections officer was seriously injured after a suspicious package found at his home mailbox in Floyd, N.Y. exploded and burned him when he handled it. The authorities have said that an investigation to determine who sent the exploding package and why is now ongoing.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said that the 52-year-old corrections officer was severely injured, suffering burns to his hand and arms, in an explosion that has left the small town stunned. The victim had to be hospitalized because of his burn injuries and Cuomo has been quoted as saying that the explosion was an "horrific" act. In an effort to determine if the man was targeted because of his work, local, state and federal agencies will be working together.

Reports from Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol indicate that the New York corrections officer picked up the package at about 8 a.m. from near his mailbox, but the specifics of the explosive were not available for release said, adding that he couldn't give specifics about the explosive. Maciol revealed at a news conference that at the time the police actually did not have as much information about the explosion to work with as they would like.
"There are a lot of unanswered questions. And we're confident that with all of us working together, we can figure out who did this."
Though the authorities are not releasing the name of the prison guard who was targeted, they have updated the press and said that he is currently in stable condition at the hospital. The 52-year-old victim was first taken to St. Elizabeth Medical Center and then was later transferred to SUNY Upstate Medical Center. Authorities are also refusing to reveal whether or not the man had tried to open the package before it exploded.

The New York Daily News wrote that attempts to contact the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision representatives in order to gain further insight into the incident have not yielded any information about the explosion. The Department of Corrections have not responded to any inquiries about the ongoing investigation.

The quiet town of about 3,800, described as a bedroom community for person from the old industrial cities of Rome and Utica were stunned by the explosion as the package went off in the early morning. Despite the fact that the community is also near to a prison, in Marcy it is relatively quiet. One neighbor, Patricia Westcott, who gave an interview by telephone said the noise was extremely loud, scaring her and at first she thought it was actually a bomb. Opening her door provided very little comfort as the sound of screams from a few doors away as well as sirens gave no clarity.

A reverse 911 call was the measure that authorities used to advise residents to stay indoors as they conducted an investigation in the neighborhood. According to WKTV the automated phone calls warned that the New York Police Department would be searching the area with dogs and certain other methods in order to ensure that the neighborhood was safe, especially since they could not verify if the attack was specifically aimed at the victim.

A portion of the Old Floyd Road in the area was also blocked off while police crime scene and forensic units came to investigate the scene where the package exploded. Maciol said that they had concluded there were no other residents in danger as bomb sniffing dogs had cleared the area, however, hours later part of the road still remained closed to most traffic in order to facilitate investigators gathering evidence.

The investigation into exactly who planted the exploding package that burned the prison guard is still ongoing. The State Police, FBI and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials are working together on the case.

[Photo Courtesy of Carl Ballou/Shutterstock]