EXCLUSIVE: Jail officials urge Mayor de Blasio to contain violent Rikers inmates

By: 
REUVEN BLAU

One of the city’s most violent inmates slashed another detainee in the face during a bloody brawl in a Rikers Island gym Saturday night.

Steven Sidbury, 25 — widely known by the nickname John Doe to correction insiders and inmates — cut inmate David Marrero, 36, on the cheek and above his eye. The attack came inside the George R. Vierno Center lockup at 6:42 p.m., according to Correction Department records.

Doe, a reputed Bloods member awaiting trial for murder, has been involved in close to 40 violent outbursts since he was first arrested in 2010, records show.

That includes at least one prior slashing, breaking the jaw of another inmate, head butting a correction officer, repeatedly spitting and tossing urine at officers, setting fire to towels inside his cell and grabbing a medical staffer, department documents reveal.

In 2014, he tried to get hold of a correction officer’s gun inside a hospital room. Doe later told investigators that he planned to kill the officer.

“Because I have nothing else to lose,” he allegedly said.

City jail officials in 2015 moved the Brooklyn resident to the Albany County jail to separate him from New York City gang members.

As part of that deal, Mayor de Blasio’s administration agreed to pay the cash-strapped Albany County jail $100 per day to supervise Doe before his trial.

But the move was short-lived.

Doe repeatedly acted out in his new confines and Albany officials shipped him back to the city after he slashed an inmate with a shiv hidden in his butt, according to reports.

“We firmly believe he was recruiting soldiers to try to get himself established up here,” Sheriff Craig Apple told the Albany-Times Union after the attack.

Doe voluntarily gave officials the makeshift knife but another was found hidden in his rectum during a follow-up X-ray.

As for the latest attack, Rikers officers were unable to find the knife that was used, records show.

The union representing jail officers has specifically complained about Doe, and several other troubled inmates, to top de Blasio administration officials.

The inmates know they will be shipped to state prisons after their trials, so they do everything possible to delay that outcome, said the union, urging prosecutors to expedite their criminal cases or send them to other jurisdictions.

“Knowing he will remain in DOC’s custody, the smart violent felon will continue to lash out to keep the status quo,” the union wrote in an Oct. 3, 2016 letter to Elizabeth Glazer, director of criminal justice for the mayor.

“The smart systemic response would be to fast track his initial prosecution and obtain a guilty verdict — sending the offender upstate where he can be properly housed,” the letter said.

On Sunday, Correction Officers Benevolent Association President Elias Husamudeen urged de Blasio to “wake up.”

“We’ve spoken to City Hall concerning him and various other inmates,” Husamudeen said. “Believe it or not, nothing has been done. It appears that J. D. and other inmates like him have the commissioner in some type of choke hold.

“When is the mayor and (jail) commissioner going to wake up?” he asked.

A Correction Department spokesman said that stabbings and slashings in the facility where the latest attack happened, went down by 56% in 2016.

"Safety is Commissioner [Joseph] Ponte's top priority, and his reforms to create a culture of safety are working," spokesman Peter Thorne said.

But the department's statistics have come under question after the Daily News reported in August that jail bigwigs have covered up violent incidents by downgrading them to "logbook" entries. That includes one attack which left a jail captain with blood on his hand.

As a result, the city's Department of Investigation is now probing the department's assault records and statistics.