Four city correction officers and a captain were ambushed by an inmate at Rikers Island, in an unexpected attack that left one guard with a broken nose, according to union officials.
A second officer’s finger was broken in the Friday assault, while the other three suffered less serious injuries.
“I wasn’t expecting anything like that, it came completely out of the blue,” said the three-year Correction Department officer whose nose was broken, requesting to remain anonymous.
The officers say they were moving the inmate, a reputed gang member named Cory Bradley, from one cell to another in the Otis Bantum Center about 5:30 p.m.
As soon as they opened Bradley’s cell, he pounced and started punching the officer in the face, according to union officials.
“It was totally unprovoked,” said the officer, who said he had no indication of any problems with Bradley. “It was a savage attack.”
Three other officers and a captain came to their colleague’s aid and were able to subdue Bradley. All five were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.
The Correction Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bradley, 26, who is awaiting trial on a gun charge, will now be held in punitive confinement — known as “The Box” — until a hearing. He will also be charged with assaulting the officers, the union said.
Correction union chief Benny Boscio says the attack reflects an increasingly dangerous situation for guards, who he said have endured a 15% spike in jailhouse attacks this year.
“This incident is just one of countless attacks on our correction officers that have occurred recently,” said the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association president.
The union says the violence will increase if dangerous inmates do not face consequences like solitary confinement.
But progressive advocates say the practice is cruel, especially for those who are awaiting trial and have not actually been convicted of crimes.
That issue came to a head Dec. 11 during a contentious City Council meeting where Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Queens) introduced legislation to ban solitary confinement.
Dromm argued that it amounted to “torture,” while Boscio shot back that the bill would “significantly increase the risk of someone getting killed at the hands of an inmate.”