Corrections officer awarded Medal of Valor

A corrections officer at the South Central Correctional Center received the state’s highest public safety award for his actions in a 2014 inmate attack.

Nathan F. Box was one of nine officers from across the state who received the Missouri Medal of Valor honor from Gov. Jay Nixon during a ceremony last Wednesday in Jefferson City.

Officers who responded to deadly threats in 2014 represented Missouri police and EMS and fire departments, as well as the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Department of Corrections and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Box sprung into action on May 30, 2014, when a prisoner attacked a corrections officer with an 8-inch-long steel improvised weapon.

The offender had stabbed the officer multiple times, including in the jaw, back of the head and left torso when Box came to the officer’s aid.

He first deployed pepper spray at the attacker, but it had no effect.

Because corrections officers do not carry guns, Tasers or other weapons, Box physically engaged the attacker, attempting to pull him away from the injured officer. The attacker remained violent and began attacking Box.

In subduing the attacker to protect his wounded colleague, Box suffered a stab wound and a fractured jaw. Despite his injuries, Box was able to subdue the attacker and recover the improvised weapon.

The wounded officer who was originally attacked was treated at a hospital and released. Box was also treated, including requiring surgery on his jaw.

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