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Public Safety, Virginia

Virginia inmate charged with felony assault of three corrections officers

Crystal Graham
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A Virginia man has been charged with felony assault of three corrections officers after a Jan. 31 incident at State Farm Correctional Center in Powhatan County.

Ronald Edward Whitehead, 35, was an inmate at the time of the incident. His original sentence ended on March 22.

On his release date, Whitehead was placed into the custody of the Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office.

Whitehead now faces three counts of assault and battery on a correctional officer. The charges were filed in Powhatan County Circuit Court.

According to the Virginia Department of Corrections, on the morning of January 31, Whitehead became combative after staff observed him in an unauthorized area and instructed him to report to the watch office.

Whitehead allegedly punched the officers multiple times after he was physically placed on the ground to bring him under control.

As a result of Whitehead’s alleged actions, three staff members received treatment at a local hospital with one employee sustaining a dislocated knee from the assault.

“Violence against Virginia Department of Corrections employees will not be tolerated,” said Chad Dotson, VADOC director. “I thank the staff members who responded to this situation for their courage. I wish them well in their recovery.”

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.