NEW YORK — A Rikers Island inmate has been indicted for allegedly attacking three correction officers, including one who suffered a gash that required 16 stitches and another who was knocked unconscious, the Bronx DA said Thursday.
Matthew Whittington, of Richmond Hill in Queens, was described by the DA as a “violent predicate offender” during the announcement of the charges he will face.
He has been indicted on second- and third-degree assault, first- and second-degree promoting prison contraband, second- and third-degree menacing, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree obstructing governmental administration, and third-degree attempted assault, the DA said.
The accusations come after the 26-year-old inmate allegedly struck correction Officer Brian Nurse in the face, causing him to hit his head on a cell door, on Aug. 6 around 7 p.m.
The following morning Whittington allegedly struck Malik Medina in the face, knocking the officer unconscious as he was retrieving the inmate’s food tray. Previous reports indicated the incident had occurred three days prior.
Whittington then allegedly slashed Officer Corey Hughes, who had heard the sound of Medina hitting floor and responded to investigate.
Images at the time showed a correction officer with a slashed arm, which officials said was caused by a scalpel blade wrapped in black electrical tape.
The gash required 16 stitches, the DA said Thursday.
“The defendant committed vicious, unprovoked attacks on three correction officers,” District Attorney Darcel Clark said. "Our public servants should not have to face danger when they go to work each day. We will not tolerate jailhouse violence.”
Whittington was arraigned in the Bronx Thursday, and is due back on Dec. 15.
If convicted he faces 5 to 7 years in prison and 5 years of post-release supervision.
The incidents occurred two weeks after another officer was slashed in the face by a prisoner who had allegedly lured him to a cell, officials said at the time.
Shortly after announcing the indictment against Whittington, sources told PIX11 efforts are being made to reduce prison violence.
The approval of 32 Emergency Services Unit captains to begin using Tasers are among the changes to be announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio Thursday afternoon.