Staff Member Assaulted at Iowa State Penitentiary

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FORT MADISON, Iowa --  The Iowa State Penitentiary was on lockdown and restricted movement on Wednesday, after a staff member was reportedly assaulted by an inmate.

The Department of Corrections says the staff member was escorting inmate Keith Piper when he attacked the worker multiple times with a weapon.  Corrections officials confirmed that two homemade weapons were used in the assault. AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan says the worker was stabbed five times. The worker along with other staff members were able to subdue Piper.

Paramedics took the victim to Fort Madison Community Hospital and was later transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City. AFSCME says surgery was not required, and the Correctional Officer is expected to be okay.

Piper is serving a 45-year prison sentence out of Jasper County on a habitual offender charge.  In March of 2016, Channel 13 reported that Piper was charged with willful injury after assaulting his cellmate at the Newton Correctional Center. Officials say he punched, kicked, and cut his cellmate with a razor over a two day period.

Visitations at the Iowa State Penitentiary are suspended until further notice. The incident remains under investigation.  This is the second reported assault on a staff member in the last week at the prison in Lee County.

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