Two correction officers were hospitalized after being stabbed during a Tuesday morning incident at Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, according to union officials and the Department of Correction. 

An incarcerated man identified as Joe Baltas, 35 of Meriden, attacked the two officers as they were escorting him through the facility at around 8:25 a.m. in the morning, the agency announced in a press release.

One officer was stabbed in the neck and another in the abdomen, according to the DOC. Both were transported to a local hospital, where they were treated and released while their attacker was moved to restricted housing at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, the agency said. 

In a press release, Correction Commissioner Angel Quiros said the incident served as a “sobering reminder” of the dangers faced by correctional staff.

“As Commissioner, this is my worst fear – that our brave staff members are attacked and injured,” Quiros said. “I rushed to the hospital as soon as I learned of the assault, and thank God, they are all right.”

Both the State Police and the DOC are investigating the incident, the agency said. 

In a separate release, AFSCME Local 1565 President Mike Vargo said the attack occurred without provocation and underscored union concerns about unsafe working conditions, which he attributed to recent policy changes. 

“These assaults will continue down this path and the result could be deadly unless swift and concrete steps are taken,” Vargo said. “We urge the DOC and state legislators to act on the concerns repeatedly raised by the Union and its members, to ensure that correctional officers who uphold the duty to protect the public are also protected.”