The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio youth prison guard still recovering after attack

- Laura A. Bischoff State Bureau USA TODAY NETWORK

Seven months after a brutal attack inside a state juvenile prison, David Upshaw still uses a walker, relies on his wife to remind him to take his medication­s, and suffers from migraines and PTSD.

Upshaw, 60, a retired police officer and Army veteran from Copley, was working second shift at Indian River Juvenile Correction­al Facility in Stark County when a 19-year-old knocked him to the ground, beat him in the head with his radio and took his keys.

The teenager let three others out of their rooms and they ran into the school area, jumped on a generator system and refused to come down for hours.

Upshaw was rushed to the hospital.

The Ohio Department of Youth Services has been struggling with disturbanc­es, violent assaults and job vacancies. Three staff members were assaulted earlier this month at Indian River.

“It just angers me. I get so angry,” said Patricia Upshaw about the recent violence. “A lot of this could have been avoided.”

Ohio DYS operates three detention centers for felony offenders, ages 10 to 21.

About 470 youths are in the centers while another 215 are on supervised parole.

‘Our lives have been turned upside down’

The list of problems David Upshaw faces is long: migraines, vertigo, short-term memory loss, post-traumatic stress disorder and kidney damage, according to his wife.

Travel plans have been canceled, David no longer drives and boating with friends is crossed off their activity list, she said.

“It truly is a nightmare after the nightmare,” she said.

Aggravatin­g his physical and mental conditions is an ongoing fight with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensati­on to cover medical bills, she said.

“It’s horrible. Our lives have been turned upside down. You got to fight for every little thing that he’s got coming,” she said.

Laura Bischoff is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizati­ons across Ohio.

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David Upshaw

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