An attack Saturday inside a prison on New York City’s Rikers Island left one correctional officer with serious injuries including a fractured spine.
According to the New York Daily News, one inmate is accused of initiating the violence when he struck the officer in the head.
Reports indicate several other suspects joined in when they saw Steven Espinal, believed to be a member of the Bloods street gang, attack the unidentified guard.
Though other officers responded with pepper spray and were able to end the violent outburst, the victim reportedly sustained multiple injuries. He was transported to an area hospital for medical treatment.
As Fox News reported, the 39-year-old guard was admitted in serious condition.
— New York Post (@nypost) February 11, 2018
Each of the five suspects were under 21 years old and are housed in a special unit for young adult offenders. New York City’s treatment of such offenders has been the topic of previous criticism, which resurfaced in the wake of Saturday’s attack.
Mayor Bill de Blasio abolished in 2015 the use of solitary confinement as a punishment for inmates age 21 and under. The president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association reacted to the recent attack on Rikers Island by denouncing that and other changes.
“The mayor’s policies are going to get one of us killed,” Elias Husamudeen said.
He added that the inmates responsible for the latest attack are not likely to face any serious immediate consequences, adding that by the following day they would be allowed to “get visits and shop in the commissary like everyone else.”
[Featured image: Video screenshot]