ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A correctional officer with the Orange County Corrections Department was seriously injured after being attacked by an inmate about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, officials said.
Authorities said the inmate was eating a meal at Orlando Regional Medical Center while in the hospital bed when he lunged at the officer with his dinner plate.
Asniel Pino broke the dish over the officer's head, repeatedly punched her, and sliced her face as well, authorities said.
Reports said the officer was unable to grab her gun or Taser because she was so bloody.
The 51-year-old officer was treated at the hospital. Pino, 26, was taken into custody.
Officials said the officer was supervising inmates being taken into the hospital when she was attacked by Pino, and the attack may have been part of an attempt to escape.
"When we start talking about how inmates are restrained, we tread lightly on that. But he was confined to the bed to that space. I'm not elaborating on what that confinement was," said Orange County jail spokesperson Carrie Proudfit.
Proudfit said an inmate might have some mobility in a hospital bed.
ORMC security guards ran to the scene where they tackled and restrained Pino.
“She’s very lucky to be alive. Lucky to be released to her family,” Proudfit said.
The officer’s injuries are serious, but not life-threatening, and she was released from the hospital several hours after the attack.
Officials have not said why Pino was in the hospital.
The Orlando Police Department is taking over the case.
Pino was charged with attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer.
Court records show Pino was already in jail after he allegedly attempted to run down a deputy with his car last month.
On Thursday hospital officials told Channel 9 that they were making changes in meal service procedures for patients under legal or correctional restrictions.
Officials said those patients will receive finger foods, based on their dietary needs. They said only Styrofoam containers will be used for meals and the patients will no longer have access to cutlery.