Ex-Houtzdale inmate pleads guilty to assaulting corrections officers

A former inmate of Houtzdale state prison pleaded guilty to assaulting two corrections officers Tuesday during plea and sentencing court in Clearfield County.

John Scott Drake, 48, an inmate of SCI Retreat, was given concurrent sentences of two to five years in state prison by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman for two counts of aggravated assault. Ammerman noted that Drake will fulfill his current minimum sentence in 2044 and his maximum sentence date in 2116.

A search of his record uncovered two previous assault by prisoner cases: one in 2012 and one in 2013.

According to the affidavit of probable cause in the Clearfield County case, on June 10, 2015, a corrections officer told police that Drake passed a counselor on the way to the commissary and threatened him. The counselor called the shift commander to help retrieve Drake. When the officer went to where the inmate was housed to tell another officer what was going on, Drake hit him on the right side of his face, causing him to fall to the floor.

The second officer told police the first officer told him they were going to lock somebody up but before he could say who, Drake struck the first officer. Drake then struck the second officer twice in the head. Before Drake could hit him a third time, a third officer took him down.

The third officer told police he saw Drake strike the second officer with a closed fist. This officer was able to take Drake to the ground and eventually handcuff him.

Both officers were treated at UPMC Altoona. The first officer suffered pain and swelling on the right side of his face, and he had pain in his left shoulder from hitting the floor. The second officer had a laceration on his forehead and swelling.