By JUSTICE CAMPBELL
Today 29 gang members have been indicted in attacks on fellow inmates and two New York City Department of Correction Officers in Rikers Island, announced Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark.
“Some of these defendants may have thought they were free and clear for crimes on Rikers Island because they had left there, but if you beat, slash or stab anyone while in jail we will arrest you, prosecute you and urge consecutive sentences if you’re convicted. No one will escape justice for violence committed against inmates or staff. These indictments show that you will pay for such brutality,” states District Attorney Clark.
The defendants are charged with disfiguring an inmate with multiple cuts, beating a Correction Officer who was protecting a slashed inmate, and attacking a rookie Correction Officer with a chair, fists and feet. They’ve been charged with four separate incidents as well.
Acting Department of Correction Commissioner Brann said, “These arrests send a clear message: If you violently assault our hardworking staff or people in our custody, you will suffer certain consequences. Regardless of whether you have already been released, you will be prosecuted for any violent acts committed while in custody. We thank the Bronx D.A, the NYPD, the court, and our Correction Intelligence Bureau and Investigation Division for their work on these cases.”
The defendants — members of the Bloods, Trinitarians, MS-13 and Folk Nation gangs — were brought before the court by the Bronx District Attorney’s Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau, the DOC Correction Intelligence Bureau and the NYPD Field Intelligence Investigation Unit, in a coordinated effort dubbed “Operation Zero Tolerance.” Nine of the defendants are currently incarcerated in state prison where they are serving sentences for various crimes, 13 defendants are currently in DOC custody, five defendants were arrested on felony warrants, one defendant is in federal custody and one defendant remains at large.
One of the indictments charges six men with second-degree Harassment, third-degree Assault, fourth-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon first and second-degree Gang Assault, two counts of first-degree Assault, and three counts of second-degree Assault. The defendants attacked an inmate, causing multiple, deep lacerations to his face, arms and hands, requiring over 100 sutures according to the investigation, on Oct. 20, 2016.
On Jan. 24, 2017 the defendants slashed an inmate in a housing area. Another indictment charges eight defendants with two counts of second-degree Assault and two counts of Obstructing Governmental Administration.
In the third indictment, six defendants are charged with third-degree Menacing, second-degree Obstructing Governmental Administration, three counts of second-degree Assault and fourth-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon. On Feb. 20, 2017 the defendants covered a camera with peanut butter, put sheets over their heads and beat a rookie Correction Officer, striking him with a chair, according to the investigation.
In the fourth indictment, nine defendants are charged with four counts of second-degree Assault, two counts of second-degree Harassment, two counts of third-degree Menacing, two counts of third-degree Assault, and second-degree Obstructing Governmental Administration. On Nov. 17, 2016, the defendants proceeded to beat a Correction Officer when the officer got between the attackers and the victimized inmate. They also slashed an inmate.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Tiesha R. Peal and Gary Kropkowski of the Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau, under the supervision of Sheryl Konigsberg and Carmen Martinez, Supervisors of the Bureau, and Deanna Logan, Chief of the Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau; and the overall supervision of Stuart Levy, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division and Jean T. Walsh, Chief of the Investigations Division.
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