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NYC correction officer attacked in Rikers jail, suffers deep gash to head
By: GRAHAM RAYMAN | NY DAILY NEWS November 10, 21. 12:31

A correction officer who has been working constant 16-hour days at Rikers Island for the past year was jumped by a detainee and beaten, suffering a severe gash on his forehead.

The 31-year-old officer was working in a housing unit in the island’s Anna M. Kross Center on Monday about 3 p.m. when he was attacked by Marquis Ventura, who is being held on a series of drug and assault charges, said Rikers sources.

“As I was talking to another inmate who was inside the cell, Ventura ran up behind me and struck me several times in head, causing my head to hit [the] cell door several times,” the officer told the Daily News.

“He actually walked past me as if everything was normal and then he started swinging on me.”

“I was instantly leaking blood everywhere all over my face, clothes and equipment,” the officer said. “I was a little dazed after it. It was totally unprovoked.”

 

Ventura then grabbed a chair, refused orders to put it down, and hurled it at another officer.

Officers ended the melee by pepper-spraying Ventura and then grabbing and holding him.

The injured officer said he was lucky other officers were with him when he was attacked because that hasn’t always been the case in recent months, as the city Correction Department reels from continuing staffing problems.

“It could have been way worse,” he said. “I never had a personal issue with Ventura, but he’s assaulted staff in the past. This is an inmate who belonged in punitive segregation.”

The officer says the past year working double shifts on a regular basis has been tough. In the hours leading up to the incident, he had worked 16 hours then had about four hours off. He was in the middle of another double shift when the attack happened.

“It’s hard to get track of everything that’s going on,” he said. “It’s mentally and physically draining. This is not sustainable right now. We need to hire more staff. It’s just not safe.”

The officer, who has more than five years on the job, was given 12 stitches at Mount Sinai Hospital for his injuries. Three other officers were injured. No details were available on those injuries.

Benny Boscio, president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, said the attack is another example of how Correction Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi has failed to keep officers safe.

“Instead of ramping up the hiring of more officers to maintain safety and security, he is too preoccupied with disciplining our officers over frivolous charges,” Boscio said. “We can only hope that his replacement will learn from his failures.”

The de Blasio administration continues to move toward ending punitive segregation and other forms of solitary confinement. On Tuesday, correction officials said a new restrictive housing policy called the Risk Management Accountability System, meant to deal with violent inmates while offering them due process, would be in place by the end of the year.

“This incident has been investigated and the individual involved has been rearrested,” the Correction Department said in a statement.

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