Rochester, NY (January 4, 2022) – On 1/2/2022 at 4:23 PM, a female MCSO deputy assigned to the Jail Bureau Female Reception area was serving dinner trays. As the deputy opened the cell door to give the inmate her dinner, the inmate pushed the cell door open and initiated an unprovoked violent attack on the deputy. The deputy was punched multiple times, knocked to the ground and then placed in a rear chokehold to the point of nearly losing consciousness. The deputy was able to briefly hit the transmit button on her radio which prompted the Central Control staff to check on her status. Upon receiving no response, Central Control initiated protocols to check on her welfare. Other deputies responded and found the deputy actively being assaulted and unable to communicate.

The deputy suffered injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. She was later released and is now recovering. The inmate was treated for injuries by on-site medical staff.

Deputies charged the inmate, Dawntaya Harris, 23, Rochester with:

  • Assault 2nd (Class-D Felony) and Strangulation 2nd (Class-D Felony)

Harris has been held without bail in the Monroe County Jail since 11/8/2021 on the charges of:

  • Attempted Robbery 1st
  • Attempted Robbery 2nd and Assault 2nd

Harris was arraigned in Rochester City Court on 1/4/2022 by Judge Morris and remanded back to MCJ on $5,000 cash or $15,000 bond on the new charges.

“This was an excellent job by the deputy responding to her training in order to survive this attack,” said Sheriff Todd K. Baxter. “Our deputies are highly trained and responded with extreme precision to handle this assault quickly. Working in the jail can be a very dangerous environment and this incident depicts the difficult job that these deputies do every day.”

We appreciate the responding deputy’s quick actions in assisting their fellow deputy during this horrific assault. MCSO wishes the deputy a speedy and full recovery.