NEW YORK — A detainee attacked a Rikers Island correction officer on Friday in what is the second major assault on an officer in recent days, officials said.
Two officers were at a bedside arraignment for a detainee at St. Barnabas Hospital on Friday night. The detainee went into a bathroom, ripped a pipe off the wall and then called out to the officers for help, officials said. When one of the correction officers went into the bathroom, the detainee hit him with the pipe.
The officer needed 13 stitches on his head, sources said. He’s already been treated and released from a local hospital.
“The safety and well-being of our Officers is a top priority,” Department of Correction Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Peter Thorne said. “This outrageous attack is under investigation and the case was referred to the Bronx District Attorney.”
This is the second major assault involving correction officers in recent days. An officer was jumped and beaten on Thursday. He suffered a gash to the face.
Correction Officer Benevolent Association President Elias Husamudeen noted that correction officers face situations like this with some frequency.
“This heinous attack against two of our correction officers demonstrates the caliber of violent individuals who come into our custody,” he said of Friday’s assault. “They are not turnstile jumpers or truants. They are the worst of the worst. If not for the quick and immediate response from the Correction Officers who rushed in to defend these two officers, this incident could have been far worse.”
He also noted the city’s plan to shut down Rikers Island.
“The City is looking to release violent offenders like this in order to close Rikers,” he said. “It’s our correction officers today and the public tomorrow once they’re released.”