Update: Inmate charged following assault of a correctional officer at Collins Bay Institution

Photo by Lucas Mulder/Kingstonist.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated since it was originally published on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023, at 4:48 p.m. Please see bottom of article for most recently updated information.

A staff member at Collins Bay Institution was taken to an outside hospital after being assaulted by an inmate, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has reported.

That staff member – a correctional officer, according to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) – sustained “serious, but non-life-threatening injuries,” the OPP said.

According to CSC, on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, a staff member was “the victim of an assault in the medium security unit at Collins Bay Institution.”

“The injured staff member was assessed at an outside hospital to receive treatment,” CSC said in a press release the day after the incident. CSC did not say whether the assailant involved was an inmate, but did say the assailant has been identified and “the appropriate actions have been taken.”

“The Joint Forces Penitentiary Squad and the institution are presently investigating the incident,” CSC said.

“The safety and security of institutions, their staff, and the public remains the highest priority in the operations of the federal correctional system. The Correctional Service of Canada will review the circumstances of this incident and take the appropriate measures.”

In a phone call, CSC confirmed that the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have been informed and, as members of the Joint Forces Penitentiary Squad, are currently investigating. The incident and subsequent investigation have led to the cancellation of a media tour of the new overdose prevention site at Collins Bay Institution, which had previously been scheduled for Friday, Dec. 15, 2023. Shortly after CSC issued a press release on the incident, the OPP issued their own press release on the matter, detailing that “officers with the Penitentiary Squad continue to work collaboratively with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) conducting an investigation, which has resulted in the arrest of an inmate at the facility.”

According to the OPP, as a result, 31-year-old inmate Josias Gomez-Moreira has been charged with:

  • Aggravated assault of a peace officer with a weapon
  • Assault of a peace officer with a weapon
  • Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose
  • Carrying a concealed weapon

Neither the OPP nor CSC said what type of weapon was involved. According to the OPP, Gomez-Moreira was held in custody to attend a bail hearing today, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023. It is unclear if that hearing has taken place and, if it has, what the result of that hearing was.

Kingstonist has made inquiries with both CSC and the OPP.

This is a developing story. Kingstonist will provide updated coverage as more information becomes available.

Update (Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at 1:25 p.m.):
In response to inquiries from Kingstonist, Bill Dickson, Acting Manager of Media relations for the East Region Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), has confirmed that the weapon involved in the assault of a correctional officer at Collins Bay Institution was an “edged weapon.”

Commonly used by police to describe a knife, saw, blade, axe, etc., the term ‘edged weapon’ refers to something with a sharp edge capable to cutting or stabbing. Police often associate edged weapons with stabbings, and edged weapons can also be homemade — items constructed to cut or stab, usually constructed from wood or metal.

In addition, Dickson explained that Gomez-Moreira was remanded into custody — unsurprisingly, as he was an inmate at the time of the alleged assault. Further information on upcoming court dates is expected to be released in the coming days.

Kingstonist has learned that Gomez-Moreira may be the accused man in a stabbing at McDonald’s here in Kingston in February 2019, however, Kingston Police were not able to confirm this by time of publication.

Kingstonist will provide further coverage if/when more information becomes available.

Update (Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, at 2:50 p.m.):
Kingstonist has now confirmed that the accused man in the recent assault of a correctional officer was also the assailant in a February 2019 stabbing in Kingston.

In an email, Kingston Police confirmed that Josias Gomez-Moreira, 31, is “the same individual responsible for the stabbing incident in February 2019 at the Division Street restaurant.” This was in response to Kingstonist requesting confirmation that Gomez-Moreira was the man charged on February 25, 2019, in relation to the stabbing that occurred at the McDonald’s location on Division Street on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019.

Gomez-Moreira was arrested and charged on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, accused of assaulting a correctional officer at Collins Bay Institution — where Gomez-Moreira is an inmate — with an “edged weapon.” (See above for further details.)

Kingstonist will continue to monitor the currently ongoing investigation into the assault at Collins Bay Institution. Updated coverage will be provided if/when more information becomes available.

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