A Wabash Valley Correctional Facility (WVCF) sergeant and two correctional officers were rushed to the hospital after a brutal attack by two offenders shortly before 6:30 A.M. Thursday morning.
Offender Cortez Wheeler was talking to Correctional Sergeant Brad Colglazier when without warning, Wheeler punched him in the head, knocking Sergeant Colglazier out, (Wheeler pictured below.)
Correctional Officers Christopher Simmerman and Charles Simpson then rushed to his aid and tried to restrain Wheeler. At that point, another offender, Kennan Mardis, also attacked the custody officers, (Mardis pictured below.)
WVCF Emergency First responders entered the southside, P-housing unit less than a minute later, using chemical agent to subdue offender Wheeler and to secure the unit.
Offenders were out of their cells for the morning meal when the assaults took place.
Custody staff quickly located offender Mardis, who had hidden in his cell after the staff assaults .Both offenders wer taken to a restricted-status housing unit. Medical staff rushed the injured custody staff to the Infirmary for emergency care before transport by ambulances to Terre Haute Regional Hospital. Sergeant Colglazier (of Greene County) was treated for back and head injuries and later released.
Officers Simmerman and Simpson, (both from Sullivan County) have been admitted, with non life-threatening facial lacerations and fractures.
The WVCF Office of Investigations and Intelligence (OII) has no motive as they continue their criminal investigation. “Our prayers are with our injured men and their families,” said WVCF Warden Richard Brown.
“We will aggressively seek criminal prosecution for this senseless and cowardly attack,” he added.
Offender Cortez Wheeler, 27, is serving 49 for Elkhart County Murder and Burglary convictions. His earliest release had been set for October of 2044. His accomplice, offender Kennan Mardis, 19, had been looking at an October 2058 release, on an unrelated Elkhart County Murder conviction.
He is currently serving a 58 year sentence.
The housing unit has been placed on lockdown status until further notice.