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Inmate charged with assault after attack on jail deputy Unprovoked incident left officer with broken nose

A deputy at the Erie County Holding Center was treated Monday for a fractured nose after he was attacked by an inmate, the Sheriff's Office reported.

Thomas S. Herrmann, 48, of Buffalo, was charged with felony assault after deputies accused him of an unprovoked attack on the Holding Center deputy at about 4:15 p.m. Monday.

Undersheriff Mark N. Wipperman said Herrmann was being escorted back to his cell after a court appearance when he "without warning or provocation" attacked a deputy from behind as the deputy unlocked a gate.

Wipperman said Herrmann punched the deputy several times on his head and body.

The inmate was not handcuffed at the time because he had already passed through a contraband and weapons search after re-entering the Holding Center, Wipperman said.

The deputy was treated at Erie County Medical Center for a nose fracture, as well as injuries to his neck and face.

Wipperman said the injured deputy was alone with Herrmann at the time of the incident, but was able to activate an emergency button on his portable radio.

"Other deputies in proximity immediately responded to the 'officer down' call and rendered assistance," Wipperman said.

The Sheriff's Office did not identify the injured deputy, citing "security reasons."

Herrmann was arraigned on the assault charge in Buffalo City Court on Tuesday. His bail was raised to $25,000, the Sheriff's Office said.

Herrmann initially was held at the Holding Center on two counts of second-degree criminal contempt of a court order and aggravated harassment.

Wipperman said jail deputies who responded to the incident gained control of Herrmann without injuring the inmate.

"He was subsequently taken to medical for precautionary measures and then transported to a disciplinary housing unit," Wipperman said.