5 Rikers Island correction officers beaten and injured by teen inmates

ByCeFaan Kim WABC logo
Thursday, January 7, 2016
5 correction officers injured at by teen inmates at Rikers
CeFaan Kim reports from Flushing.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Five correction officers are in the hospital after allegedly getting beaten by teenage inmates at Rikers Island.

The young attackers are housed in a new unit for what's called "uncontrollable inmates."

This started with two teenage inmates attacking two correction officers around 5 p.m. Wednesday.

As additional officers jumped in to control the situation, several other inmates, Eyewitness News is told, joined in and began attacking those officers.

The situation quickly escalated and got out of control.

Chemical spray had to be used, at one point an inmate stomped on an officer, and one officer had their hand slammed between a heavy gate.

1 officer has a fractured nose and suffered cuts above his eye.

Another has bumps and bruises all over his face.

A third had the top bone of his foot crushed.

And a fourth, suffered hand injuries from the heavy gate slam. The extent of her injuries is still unknown.

A fifth officer is being treated for exposure to chemical agents that were used when trying to control this assault.

The 16 and 17-year-old inmates allegedly involved are in a unit called "Transitional Repair Unit", or TRU.

It's for youth inmates, under age 21, who used to be in administrative segregation, but the mayor said the policy is not humane, that "punitive segregation" wasn't working, and that it was making people more violent.

This attack occurred just two months after the head of the corrections officers union warned of a new policy that just went into effect this year would be a recipe for disaster, the union boss says the attack Wednesday has proved his point.

Union officials said they put their officers in harm's way and are livid about this policy change.

"Until the mayor walks in the shoes of a New York City correction officer that has his or her eye socket busted out, then he will have a difference of opinion. We're trying to do this to protect not only correction officers but the wellbeing of the other inmates that are incarcerated in the city's jail system along with the non-uniformed members of the Department of Corrections. Everybody deserves to be safe," said Normal Seabrook, president of COBA.

Seabrook says he would like to see sentences run concurrently for inmates who attack a correction officer.

He says they should receive a minimum of 5-7 years attached to whatever sentence they are serving.

In the last few years, the city had to pay millions to Rikers inmates who were brutally beaten by officers, which led to reform.