A punch-prone parolee socked a Rikers Island correction officer so hard that it knocked out several of his teeth, union officials said Sunday.
Devon English, 30, was awaiting sentencing in a shockingly similar assault in 2018, when police say he struck a Manhattan Detention Complex correction officer after tossing hot water on him.
In the latest attack, English and a fellow Rikers inmate were walking out of a housing area at the Anna M. Kross Center and stepped into a vestibule — where they didn’t have permission to go — about 11:30 p.m. Saturday, according to the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association.
Correction officers tried to walk the pair back into the housing area, but English suddenly spun around and pounded one of them in the face, the union said.
The blow knocked out several off the officer’s front teeth and sent him to the floor, according to the union. His fellow officers intervened and restrained English.
English, a reputed Bloods member, has served state prison time for drug dealing, and more recently for a 2017 robbery conviction. He was released to parole in April 2018 but was rearrested on multiple grand larceny charges that October. The following Dec. 1, he threw hot water at a correction officer’s face, police said, later pleading guilty to felony assault charges.
The correction officers union has recently put a spotlight on inmate attacks while pushing back at legislation to ban solitary confinement in city jails.
“It’s open season on New York City Correction Officers who continue to be assaulted by violent inmates who are emboldened to unleash their brutality against our officers because they know they face little to no consequences for their heinous crimes,” union president Benny Boscio said Sunday.
“City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Councilman Danny Dromm have even gone as far as proposing legislation that would prevent us from separating violent inmates who attack our members and non-violent inmates.”
Earlier this month Dromm clashed with Boscio at a Dec. 11 City Council hearing, where Dromm proposed legislation to ban punitive segregation — commonly referred to as solitary confinement — calling it “torture” and the union chief a “thug.”
Currently, punitive segregation at city jails permits up to 20 hours a day lock-in for those accused of committing acts of violence, including arson and assaults on a staff member or another person in custody.
Criminal justice reform advocates say the practice is cruel, especially for inmates awaiting trial who haven’t been convicted of crimes.