PORTLAND, Maine — A former Lewiston man awaiting transfer to federal prison punched a Cumberland County Jail corrections officer Sunday afternoon shortly after taking a shower.
Two corrections officers were ready to handcuff and shackle Trezjuan Thompson, 29, for his hourlong recreation period when the maximum security inmate, who had his back to the officers, suddenly spun around and punched Paul Abrol in the jaw, knocking him to the floor, a spokesman at Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department said in a written statement.
After the assault, Abrol and Officer Tyrone Leslie struggled to gain control of Thompson, Chief Deputy Naldo Gagnon wrote.
Abrol was treated and released for his injuries at Maine Medical Center.
Thompson was sentenced recently in U.S. District Court to nearly 30 years in federal prison for drug conspiracy and arson convictions.
From about November 2008 until November 2009, Thompson was part of a drug trafficking organization that sold cocaine and crack cocaine throughout Lewiston and Auburn, according to prosecutors. Some of his dealing was believed to be done from jail or prison.
In 2009, Thompson set fire to the rental apartment of a woman he had previously lived with, according to court testimony. At the time of the fire, Thompson was forbidden from contacting the woman, due to a protection order.
The blaze at 48 Academy St. spread quickly. Investigators said Thompson started the fire by pouring gasoline throughout the empty apartment then ignited it. The apartment was destroyed, and adjacent apartments were damaged.
Thompson was jailed following the fire, but prosecutors said he conspired from November 2009 until February 2010 to distribute crack cocaine in the Twin Cities area by phone from Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn and the Maine State Prison in Warren.
As a result of prior state convictions for drug trafficking and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, Thompson was subject to an enhanced sentence as a career offender.
Sunday’s assault is under investigation by Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Steven Gorham.