Officer at Lanesboro prison seriously injured in attack by inmate

An officer at problem-plagued Lanesboro Correctional Institution suffered a serious cut to his face Monday after he was assaulted by an inmate wielding a bladed weapon, prison and state officials said.

Corrections Officer Edwin Faulkner received more than 40 stitches after the midday attack.

Marcus Alston cut the officer after he was released from restraints Monday, authorities said. Alston, 37, is serving a minimum 35-year sentence for raping a woman in coastal Elizabeth City. Since his conviction in 2001, Alston has been cited for 169 prison infractions, including repeated instances of threatening to harm prison staff, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

“What I am able to say is that the officer was in the process of removing the inmate's restraints to give him recreational time when he was slashed with a sharp object,” said department spokesperson Pamela Walker.

“The inmate now faces charges for the assault and is currently segregated,” Walker said.

The Polkton Police Department and state prison officials are investigating the incident.

Located in Polkton, about 45 miles east of Charlotte, Lanesboro has repeatedly drawn scrutiny after violence, inmate deaths and claims of improper conduct by corrections officers.

In September 2012, the stabbing death of inmate Wesley Turner spurred a State Bureau of Investigation probe and led to charges against three former inmates.

Later that year, an inmate filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Lanesboro corrections officers cracked his skull with a baton and then destroyed a surveillance video that showed the assault.

Starting in November 2013, more than 800 inmates at the high security prison were put on lockdown for several months after an attack injured a corrections officer. Subsequent searches at the prison found numerous cellphones, improvised weapons and marijuana.