Inmates’ attacks on Rikers guards caught on video

By: 
James A. King and Anthony Izaguirre

Rikers Island inmates brutally pummeled prison guards in two separate attacks the day before Thanksgiving, according to Corrections Department sources and surveillance video obtained by The Post.

In one case, an inmate coolly approaches a correction officer and sucker-punches him in the face with a right hand at 11:51 p.m. Wednesday, security tape shows.

He then hits him with a left and a second haymaker and chases the guard, who takes off running down a hallway.

The video cuts off as the attacker and another inmate begin to walk in the same direction.

The second video shows a different inmate charging an officer as other inmates make half-hearted attempts to stop him. Some merely watch.

The inmate pins the guard against a wall, punches and chokes him as the officer tries to break free. The officer lands a blow of his own, and the two continue to fight. They separate and walk away from each other.

“This stuff is happening all the time now after the ‘culture’ change of defending yourself to being a punching bag for the department of confusion,” a department source said.

A Corrections Dept. spokesman praised the guards for their restraint.

“After they were violently assaulted, these brave officers followed their training, showed restraint, and successfully de-escalated the situation. We are processing these inmates for re-arrest, and they are being placed in restrictive housing,” said Peter Thorne.

“These videos show exactly what happens when inmates have no fear of consequences for assaulting correction officers, because the City of New York’s criminal justice reforms have permitted a culture of violence against correction officers,” said Elias Husamudeen, president of the correction officer’s union.

He noted that inmates sometimes outnumber guards 100 to one.

Husamudeen previously criticized Mayor de Blasio’s ban on solitary confinement for inmates under 21, likening the policy to putting unarmed police officers in crime-ridden neighborhoods.

The assaults come amid surging violence at city lock-ups.

This month an inmate at Rikers chucked a garbage can at a guard, who suffered a gash on his head that took five staples to close.

In another incident also in November, a Rikers inmate was caught on video beating a guard in a savage brawl.

According to an independent monitor, violence in the Department of Correction hit an all-time high in January, when guards used force in a record 550 incidents.

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