On Friday evening, an inmate seriously assaulted a Corrections Officer at St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center. The officer, Hannah Suite, sustained facial abrasions, a laceration on her left eyebrow, hematomas, and a possible concussion.
According to the incident report, inmate Kamisha Raquel Thomas, a 30-year-old female, approached Officer Suite and threw a cup of liquid at her before violently attacking her. Thomas repeatedly struck Suite in the face and head, attempting to gain a positional advantage. Suite managed to call for help via her radio while blocking the blows from Thomas. Notably, several female inmates in the same unit came to the officer’s aid, helping to halt the attack.
Officer Suite was subsequently transported to MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital for treatment. On Saturday afternoon, Sheriff Steve Hall visited Suite at her home, awarding her the Sheriff’s Office Purple Heart Medal.
Sheriff Hall commented, “Our Corrections Staff are an integral part of the Sheriff’s Office. Day in and day out, they deal with those incarcerated at our Detention and Rehabilitation Center. They are the ‘silent line’ of security—you rarely see them, but they work 24/7 to protect the community. This was a brutal assault on a Corrections Officer, and we are thankful that Hannah did not receive life-threatening injuries. I am very proud of the way she stood her ground and refused to give up until help could arrive.”
Hall added, “I am grateful for the inmates who came to the aid of the Corrections Officer; it’s a testament to the respect the inmates had for C/O Suite and that there is a lot of good within the detention center. This incident illustrates what Corrections Officers deal with daily—the worst and the best of human behavior.”
Inmate Thomas has been charged with 1st Degree Assault, 2nd Degree Assault, 1st Degree Assault on a Department of Corrections (DOC) employee, and 2nd Degree Assault on a DOC employee.
The incident highlights the challenges and risks that Corrections Officers face in their line of work, balancing the need for safety with the demands of inmate management. This event has also highlighted the potential for good behavior within a detention facility, as evidenced by other inmates stepping in to assist an officer in danger. It underscores the complex human dynamics within the walls of a detention center and raises questions about measures to improve safety for both staff and inmates.
While the situation was brought under control and Officer Suite is recovering, the incident raises ongoing concerns about the safety of Corrections Officers and the need for comprehensive safety protocols.