Schenectady County

Schenectady County jail inmate sues over beating

A Schenectady County Jail inmate attacked by four other prisoners last year has filed a lawsuit agai

A Schenectady County Jail inmate attacked by four other prisoners last year has filed a lawsuit against the county.

Zechariah A. Fay is alleging the county, Sheriff Harry Buffardi and a corrections officer that lost his job because of the incident were all negligent in allowing the attack to take place.

“Defendants were negligent in, among other things, the monitoring and supervision of inmates at the Schenectady County Jail, allowing the inmates to attack (Fay) and then failing to timely intervene to stop the attack,” the suit reads.

The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, was filed late last week in state Supreme Court. Attorneys for Fay and the county could not be immediately reached .

Earlier this month, the fourth and final inmate accused in the attack admitted to the crime. Nicholas Price, 19, pleaded guilty in Schenectady County Court to one count of second-degree assault, a felony.

Price admitted he helped assault Fay at the jail on Aug. 15, 2007.

Three others charged in the attack, Jullian Vanness, Nicholas Price, and Nicholas Coons, have already pleaded guilty to charges related to the incident, prosecutors said.

The four inmates were accused of repeatedly assaulting Fay over a period of nearly 40 minutes on the second floor of the jail.

Vanness and Price were under discipline for misbehaving in the correctional facility and were supposed to be locked in their cells 23 hours per day, with one hour set aside for recreation.

Fay was using the jail’s phone when Price allegedly punched him in the face at 10:07 a.m., according to a report. Vanness, Snipes and Coons also allegedly punched Fay as the attack continued until 10:45 a.m.

In the wake of the attack, corrections officer David Teller resigned as he faced administrative charges. Teller was accused of failing to place two inmates under disciplinary treatment inside their cells prior to the alleged assault, according to the report. Under questioning, Teller said he “forgot to lock them up,” according to the report.

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