Nassau County Police are still searching for a suspect who they say assaulted a Nassau County Sheriff's Department correctional officer at 10:40 a.m. Wednesday morning on the ninth floor of the Nassau County Universal Medical Center.
About 80 police officers from the NCPD and the Nassau County Sheriff's Department are searching for the suspect, who is described as a white male. Chief of Department Steven Skrynecki said it is likely the suspect left the hospital before the search began.
The correctional officer — who has not been identified — sustained minor injuries. Kenneth Lack, the commanding officer of the NCPD's public information office, said the correctional officer was situated in a chair in the hallway, overseeing a prisoner who was receiving treatment, when he felt a "burning sensation" behind his ear.
Lack said the suspect likely used an "edged weapon" to slash the officer, but did not know what type.
Officials said police were interviewing the prisoner, who was arrested on Feb 2. for criminal contempt, harassment and stalking, but that there does not appear to be a connection between the prisoner and suspect.
Skrynecki said police are conducting a floor-by-floor search, are securing the hospital's exterior and interviewing people as they leave the premises.
Acting Police Commissioner Victor Politi said the hospital is open and operational, that no services were ever closed, and the hospital did not go into an official lockdown at any point. But, he added, police "did limit the access to the hospital during the search period."
Lack asked anybody who might have any information to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.