Correctional Officer Gary M. Chapin Crawford County Correctional Facility Pennsylvania End of Watch: Monday, November 15, 2010


Correctional Officer Gary M. Chapin
Crawford County Correctional Facility

End of Watch: Monday, November 15, 2010

Biographical Info
Age: 49
Tour of Duty: 3 years, 8 months
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Assault
Date of Incident: Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Weapon Used: Person
Suspect Info: Charged with homicide

Correctional Officer Gary Chapin succumbed to injuries sustained one month earlier after being attacked and beaten by an inmate in the Crawford County Correctional Facility.
Officer Chapin was transported to Wesbury United Methodist Community Hospital but never regained consciousness after the attack.
The inmate who beat him was in jail on a parole violation at the time. The assault occurred because the inmate was upset about an unsharpened pencil. The inmate was charged with criminal homicide.
Officer Chapin had served with the Crawford County Correctional Facility for almost four years. He is survived by his wife and children.

Agency Contact Information
Crawford County Correctional Facility
2100 Independence Drive
Saegertown, PA 16433
Phone: (814) 763-1190
Please contact the Crawford County Correctional Facility for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.

A jail inmate who was upset about an unsharpened pencil attacked a guard by "pile-driving" him onto his head and was charged with criminal homicide, authorities said.

Gregory G. Brown, 24, was in the county lockup about 90 miles north of Pittsburgh when he attacked corrections officer Gary Chapin on Oct. 13, Crawford County District Attorney Francis Schultz told The Associated Press. Chapin never regained consciousness and died Monday.

Chapin, 49, was trying to handcuff Brown and take him back to his cell when Brown "punched Chapin in the face and slammed him to the ground" headfirst, Schultz said.

"It appears Mr. Brown was upset that he didn’t have a sharpened pencil, if you can believe that," Schultz told the AP. "It appears he had a pencil but was dissatisfied it was taking so long" to sharpen it.

"It’s awful," Schultz said. "Mr. Chapin got up and went to work that day and ended up incapacitated and eventually dying over something quite ridiculous. It’s a terrible thing any time law enforcement is killed. This appears to be a senseless crime."

Brown was arraigned Tuesday after state police filed the criminal homicide charge. He still faces previously filed charges of aggravated assault and assault by a prisoner. He was being held without bond and has a Nov. 23 preliminary hearing.

Brown’s public defender, Robert Trambley, did not immediately return messages left by The Associated Press.

Tim Lewis, warden of the 282-bed Crawford County Correctional Facility in Saegertown, said Chapin was hired as a part-time guard in March 2007 and went full-time two months later. He said he didn’t know where Chapin had worked previously.

The 20-year warden said Chapin’s on-duty death was the "first I can ever remember, or ever even heard of" at the county jail. Lewis said guards are often subjected to assaults, but he also can’t remember the last one that required a guard to be hospitalized.

Schultz said Brown had been imprisoned at the State Correctional Institution-Albion on a parole violation shortly before the attack. He was brought to the Crawford County lockup to await a hearing on a charge of violating a protection-from-abuse order, Schultz said.

Online court records list just one conviction for Brown: In 2005, he was sentenced to two to six months in jail for drunken driving and up to 18 months in an intermediate punishment program on criminal trespass and theft charges.

Intermediate punishment generally consists of intensive probation or house arrest in lieu of jail time. Those who violate such a sentence can wind up serving time in prison or jail, but online court records don’t make clear how Brown ended up in a state prison.

County Coroner Patrick McHenry on Monday had ruled Chapin’s death a homicide, because it resulted from complications from head injuries suffered when he was "lifted up and pile driven into the floor."

Criminal homicide is an umbrella offense that gives prosecutors the option of trying to prove the killing was premeditated first-degree murder, but also enables a jury to convict a defendant of lesser degrees of homicide or manslaughter.

Schultz said it’s too early to determine whether he’ll pursue the death penalty. A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence otherwise.

Lewis said Chapin was married with children and was on a staff that includes 45 full-time guards, 20 part-timers, and 19 nonunion officers and support staff. The warden would not comment on the attack itself on the advice of state police who investigated the case.

"The only thing I’m going to say is that Gary Chapin will be missed at this facility forever," Lewis said.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete Tuesday.


2 Responses to “Correctional Officer Gary M. Chapin Crawford County Correctional Facility Pennsylvania End of Watch: Monday, November 15, 2010”

  1. 1 jason rice November 17, 2010 at 01:51

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family, and crawford county’s officers!

  2. 2 Vikki Davis November 17, 2010 at 13:56

    I’m so sorry to hear about your brother Greg! I hope the guy pays dearly for what he has done to your brothers family.

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