NEW YORK – A Rikers Island correction officer was attacked by two inmates on Thursday afternoon.
One suspect, identified as 19-year-old Darnel Green allegedly distracted the officer, the other, identified as 18-year-old William Whitfield, put him in a chokehold and then slashed him throughout his face, head, and arms.
Sources say the officer, 31-year-old Ray Calderone, will be OK, although some of the cuts are very deep. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Rikers Island officials released a statement saying: “Today at around 4:30 p.m. on Rikers Island a Correction Officer was the victim of an unprovoked assault with a weapon. He is being treated at a hospital. Safety is Commissioner Ponte’s top priority and he has zero tolerance for assaults on staff. The Department is seeking re-arrest of any inmate involved.”
Sources tell Eyewitness News the inmates would have been in solitary confinement based on their records, but the commissioner got rid of solitary for adolescents.
Norman Seabrook, the President of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association released a statement saying, “On the eve of the release of new ‘use of force’ guidelines from the Department of Correction, which we were not consulted on, one of our members is laying in a hospital bleeding from multiple slash wounds to his head and face.
Our members face life and death danger every single day when they walk into work, and incidents like this are exactly why we need to be a part of these policy discussions. It is an outrage that the lives and safety of brave Correction Officers like this young man do not seem to be a priority.”