Injured corrections officer undergoes surgery to remove damaged eye

December 10, 2020
In The News

U.S. Penitentiary at Allenwood corrections officer and Midd-West head wrestling coach Dale Franquet Jr. underwent surgery to remove an eye Wednesday, two days after he was assaulted by an inmate.

A second staff member was also injured in the inmate assault at the high-security prison Monday morning but neither the identity nor health condition of the officer were released by the Bureau of Prisons.

Dale Franquet Sr., of Orwigsburg, said the surgery to remove his son's injured eye went well at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, according to the younger Franquet's wife, Angela.

"There was no damage to the eye socket. In three months he could be fitted with a prosthetic," said Franquet Sr. 

Shane Fausey, the national president of the Council of Prison Locals and an employee at the Allenwood prison complex, said the assaults "are a stark reminder of the unpredictable and violent nature of the vital work the Bureau of Prisons correctional professionals do every day."

While the details of the attacks are not being released pending an FBI investigation, Fausey added that the "quick and decisive actions of both officers, even at the risk of their own personal safety, are nothing short of heroic and resulted in quickly bringing an end to a potentially deadly situation."

U.S. Rep. Fred Keller expressed his hope for the injured officers' speedy recovery and echoed Fausey in saying on Twitter that the incident "is a reminder of the challenging job that our corrections officers are tasked with."

Franquet Sr. expects his son will rebound quickly.

"He's a tough individual and will be stronger for it," he said, recalling how at the age of 16 Dale Jr. wrestled in high school with a broken hand.

For several years Franquet Jr. has served as varsity head coach at Midd-West High School.

Assistant wrestling coach A.J. Steininger described him as being dedicated to helping athletes reach their full potential.

"It's going to be tough" starting the wrestling season without Franquet Jr., Steininger said. "He's an integral part of our wrestling program."

Franquet Jr. recently built a pole barn on his property for wrestling clinics and was scheduled to hold a grand opening on Saturday.

"Dale's biggest concern is the pole barn," Franquet Sr. said of the family's decision to postpone the opening until his son can participate.