Gang Members Lay Waste to a Room On City Jail Barge

Mark Toor

Several members of the Trinitarios gang trashed a room on the city’s jail barge July 21 out of anger that a friend was being transferred, according to reports from Rikers Island.

A Correction Officer tried to break up what one newspaper called a “mini-riot” by using pepper spray. When the inmates turned on her, she left the room and locked them in.

Smashed Glass, Computers


Elias Husamudeen, president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, said the inmates were left alone in the program room, a classroom type-space, for at least an hour before COs from the Emergency Service Unit arrived and quieted the disturbance.

The prisoners smashed glass covering the tabletops and wrecked four computers.

“The inmates involved are now in punitive segregation [solitary confinement] or other restrictive-housing units,” said DOC spokesman Peter Thorne. “We are also working with the Bronx DA to re-arrest these inmates.”

The disturbance occurred at the Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center, an 800-bed jail barge anchored off Hunts Point in the southern Bronx.

It was set off by the transfer of  Larry Lopez, who was jailed on a parole violation. A DOC report said that Mr. Lopez tried to break away from an officer escorting him to an intake area.


Jails Chief ‘Has Lost Control’

“This is yet another example of how Commissioner Brann has lost control of the jails,” Mr. Husamudeen said of city Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann. “She refuses to bolster security and she continues to execute the Mayor’s failed policies. As correction officers, we deserve better.”

The Trinitarios, a Dominican gang, were most recently in the news when 12 members were arrested for the slaying of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, 15. Members of the gang pulled him out of a bodega in The Bronx. They stabbed and slashed him, and he collapsed and died on the way to the hospital. Gang members later said it was a case of mistaken identity.