Inmate Charged With Stabbing Guard

ELIZABETH – An inmate has been charged with aggravated assault after he allegedly stabbed a corrections officer with a sharpened pencil at Union County Jail last week, officials said.

Xiong Jin, a Chinese national, was being held at the jail after pleading guilty to aggravated assault for a 2007 double stabbing in Kenilworth.

At about 8:30 a.m. on June 11, Jin allegedly approached Officer Pietro Lomuscio from behind while the officer was supervising the distribution of breakfast trays in a unit of about 96 inmates.

Lomuscio, a newly hired officer, “felt like he was given a karate chop to the neck,” according to  Kenneth Burkert, a Policemen’s Benevolent Association delegate who spoke with Lomuscio following the incident.

Jin allegedly attacked Lomuscio again with the pencil after the officer turned around, according to the union representative. Lomuscio maneuvered a chair between himself and the inmate, then radioed for backup, the union representative said.

Corrections officer John Miller responded from his post in the hallway and helped to restrain the inmate, Burkert said. In the process, Miller, a 20-year veteran, sustained injuries to his back, knee and hand, the union representative said.

Both officers were treated and released from Trinitas Hospital, authorities said.

Inmates are permitted to have pencils in their units, according to officials.

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