Inmates at the Rikers Island jail complex punched a correction officer on Wednesday, union officials said.
The inmates, who are members of the Bloods gang according to the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, argued with each other in a cell and turned on the officer when he intervened. A COBA spokesperson initially said a box cutter was also used in the attack, but a Department of Correction official disputed that account and said a box cutter was never used.
DOC officials said they will pursue the re-arrest of the inmates after the attack at the George R. Vierno Center, Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Peter Thorne said.
“The safety and well-being of our personnel, who work around the clock to keep our facilities safe is our priority and any attacks on them are unacceptable,” Thorne said.
Inmate assaults against correction officers are up 23 percent, COBA President Benny Boscio said.
The Rikers attack happened just one day before the New York State Senate passed the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act (HALT.) The legislation, which Boscio slammed, limits the use of segregated confinement and implements alternative rehabilitative measures.
“There is nothing humane about subjecting our brave men and women to brutal assaults that send them to the hospital every week to be treated for broken noses, broken eye sockets, and gashes across their limbs that often require many stitches,” Boscio said. “The governor should put safety first and refuse to sign this reckless piece of legislation that is only going to further jeopardize the lives of our essential Correction Officers.”
PIX11 has reached out to the Department of Correction for information.