State Police have arrested a corrections officer for punching an 86-year-old inmate in the face at a maximum-security state prison in Massachusetts.
The Worcester District Attorney's Office says 35-year-old Joseph Sampson struck the inmate three times at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Lancaster on Dec. 20. Sampson has been charged with assault and battery on a person over 60.
Sampson's attorney Kenneth Anderson says his client acknowledges striking the inmate, but says the prisoner was trying to bite him and spitting at him.
Anderson says his client feels his actions were "consistent with DOC (Department of Correction) policies and his training."
The department says Sampson has been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Authorities have not identified the inmate.