Four of the six inmates who allegedly attacked a Rikers correction officer — including the apparent ringleader — were slammed with charges in court Monday.
Steven Espinal, Devin Burns, Nazeem Francis and Samson Walston were charged with gang assault in the attack on John Roston Souffrant, 39. Souffrant suffered a fractured spine and swelling in the brain.
The inmates apparently orchestrated the beating because Souffrant wrote Espinal up for an infraction, prosecutors said. Espinal, 18, has a history of assaulting staff and not following orders at Rikers, sources said.
He allegedly planned the attack, which was captured on surveillance video.
Eric Morris and Jeffrey Valdez were also charged in the attack. They have not yet been arraigned.
At least a dozen correction officers made sure they were in court to support during Monday's arraignment.
Souffrant is conscious and talking but remains hospitalized, Elias Husamudeen, president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, said.