Officers at Rikers suspended after murder suspect mistakenly released from jail: COBA

Local News
Police mugshot of murder suspect Christopher Buggs, 26, originally arrested on Feb. 3, 2018. (NYPD)

Police mugshot of murder suspect Christopher Buggs, 26, originally arrested on Feb. 3, 2018. (NYPD)

Four correction officers at the Rikers Island jail complex, including a captain and an assistant deputy warden, were suspended after the accidental release of a murder suspect, a spokesman for the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association confirmed Thursday.

Christopher Buggs, 26, was prematurely released from the Otis Bantum Correctional Center at Rikers a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Correction said. Buggs was arrested in February of 2018; he allegedly fatally shot a man in the chest at a Brooklyn deli in January of that year.

The DOC launched an investigation into how Buggs was mistakenly released, spokesman Peter Thorne said.

“We are aware of this incident and a full investigation into how this happened is underway. Right now we are working with our law enforcement partners to return this‎ individual to custody,” Thorne said.

COBA called for Sherma Dunbar, the warden of Otis Bantum Correctional Center, to be fired, the union spokesman said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio assured New Yorkers on Wednesday that safeguards would be put in place to make sure nothing like this ever happened again.

“It was based on a court order, but it was apparently, you know, one case that this inmate had connected to him, but there were other charges obviously as well, that should have meant he remained incarcerated,” de Blasio said. “So, we’re going to get a full review of this immediately, make whatever changes we have to.”

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

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