Cambridge man who assaulted corrections officers sentenced

Stephen Gittens, 58, repeatedly attacked officers as they attempted to transport him from scheduled court appearances, officials said.

A Middlesex Superior Court judge sentenced a 58-year-old Cambridge man to four to five years in state prison Wednesday for assaulting corrections officers at the Middlesex Jail and House of Correction in 2017.

Judge Peter Krupp handed down the sentence to Stephen Gittens after a jury found Gittens guilty of six counts of assault and battery on a corrections officer, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office.

“The defendant in this case violently assaulted corrections officers on multiple occasions,” District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a statement. “This pattern of behavior, repeatedly compromising the safety of corrections officers in the course of their duties, is entirely unacceptable.”

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Gittens repeatedly attacked corrections officers at the jail between February and July 2017.

On Feb. 21, 2017, Gittens punched an officer after he returned from a court appearance, officials said.

“On March 23, 2017, following a scheduled court appearance, Mr. Gittens tackled a corrections officer into a metal cabinet,” Ryan’s office said in a statement. “When three corrections officers came to assist their colleague, the defendant proceeded to physically assault them as well. Mr. Gittens again attacked corrections officers on July 21, 2017, while officers were transporting the defendant inside the jail.”

Prosecutors said four corrections officers injured while trying to transport Gittens from scheduled court appearances sought medical treatment outside the jail over the span of the five months.

“Today’s sentence makes clear that acts jeopardizing the safety of our officers will be not be tolerated,” Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian said in a statement. “The actions taken by Mr. Gittens demonstrate the danger our correction officers face on any given day, in any given moment. Providing a safe and secure environment for our officers, staff and inmates is paramount to us; any individual who seeks to disrupt that will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”