LEOMINSTER - As a corrections officer beaten by an inmate continues to fight for his life, and as the inmate faces charges, a motorcycle ride benefit is being organized to help the officer's family.
A Tidman Strong Motorcycle Ride Fundraiser is being held Sunday to support Matthew Tidman, an officer at the Massachusetts Corrections Institution-Shirley who has been in intensive care at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington since the Aug. 31 attack.
The escorted motorcycle ride starts at 11 a.m. at the state Department of Mental Health's Hadley Building, 167 Lyman St. Westborough. The route ends at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 456 Litchfield St., Leominster, where a fundraiser will kick off at noon.
The Leominster fundraiser will include live music by Point the Finger, a DJ, family activities such as bounce houses and face painting, food and a cash bar, gun raffles, a car show, and raffles for items such as pro sports game tickets, gas cards, comedy show tickets donated by Mike and Lenny Clarke, and one-on-one training time with professional boxer Mickey Ward of Lowell.
The combined donation for both events is $20 per adult and $10 for children 15 and under, to be paid at the Eagles Hall in Leominster. According to organizers, all proceeds will go to Tidman's family.
"Although Matt is strong, he has been on life support since this attack," organizers stated on the Facebook event page for the Tidman Strong Motorcycle Ride Fundraiser. "God willing, Matt will fight through this but the uphill battles are many. Matt has committed his self to public service, and now we ask the public for their support."
Successful surgery Tuesday
Meanwhile, Tidman's family and friends are marking a successful step in his recovery.
More: Union: Guard at Shirley prison attacked by inmate 'improving ever so slightly'
Massachusetts Correction Officers Federated Union Legislative Representative Kevin Flanagan said in a statement Wednesday that Tidman had surgery Tuesday night and is continuing to make "slight progress" since the Aug. 31 attack.
"The doctors are happy with his progress but have been forthwith that Matt's recovery will be long and will require more surgeries in his future," Flanagan said. "The hope is that the good days outweigh the bad and he continues to progress upwards."
Flanagan said family members appreciate the "outpouring of support" they have received over the last month.
"With all the positivity and good vibes being shown, it is most definitely being funneled through Matt. He is tough and a fighter and will continue to do so through all of his ups and downs," he said.
Inmate serving life for murder charge
The inmate accused of attacking Tidman - Roy L. Booth Jr., 40, a Virginia man serving a life sentence for murder - was charged this week with armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery causing serious bodily injury and mayhem.
A Middlesex Grand Jury indicted Booth Wednesday. He will be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn sometime in October.
According to investigators, Booth was in the recreation area of the medium security area of MCI-Shirley a little after 2 p.m. Aug. 31 when he took a metal pole weighing 10 to 15 pounds and attacked Tidman, striking him several times. Tidman was monitoring inmates at the time.
Investigators alleged Booth unscrewed the object used to strike Tidman, part of a weight-lifting apparatus, and concealed it as he approached and then attacked Tidman.
Fellow corrections officers restrained Booth after the beating and helped Tidman, investigators said. Booth was placed into protective custody and moved to the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center next door.
Booth has been at MCI-Shirley since March 2021 as part of the Interstate Corrections Compact, which transfers inmates between states in certain circumstances. Booth is serving a life sentence for the 2001 murder of Melissa Tanner in Portsmouth, Virginia.
"This incident highlights the dangers corrections officers face every day while performing their duties," Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a statement. "Officer Tidman still has a very long road ahead of him and we know that this frightening incident of workplace violence will have a lasting impact on his family and colleagues."
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Fundraiser on Sunday for Matthew Tidman, assaulted by inmate in prison