Two NYC correction officers attacked by inmates in one violent day on Rikers Island

Rikers Island inmates assaulted two correction officers in separate attacks Monday, leaving the guards with gruesome injuries to their face and hands, The Post has learned.

In the first attack, which happened at about 1 p.m. inside the George R. Vierno Center, an officer was wounded when he tried to break up an apparent gang fight between about 10 inmates that spilled out of a cell and onto the tier, law enforcement sources told The Post.

The inmates ignored the officer’s demand to stop brawling — even after he shot them with pepper spray, sources said.

An officer got a nasty cut that required stitches to close as he tried to break up a gang fight between about 10 inmates, he told The Post.

Instead, they grabbed food pans and garbage cans and began beating each other — and the officer got struck with a flying food pan lid that left him with a nasty gash on his left hand.

“I was trying to prevent multiple inmates from fighting each other,” the officer told The Post on Monday. “A lot of other items were being thrown and one of them struck my hand and sliced it open.”

A response team busted in after several minutes, separated the inmates and led them away, sources said.

The 22-year-old officer — who has only been on the job for about nine months — said the cut earned him four stitches.

“I think I did my best, the best I could, in a situation like that,” he said, adding that he’s trying not to dwell on the attack. “I was just trying to do my job … I didn’t really take it to heart, because I feel like it can happen to anybody.”

In the second incident, which happened at about 6:15 p.m. in the Robert N. Davoren Complex, a female correction officer was punched in the face despite spraying her assailant with pepper spray, sources said.

Both attacks happened at different Rikers Island facilities Monday, union officials said. Dennis A. Clark
There have been about 150 attacks on correction officers since December 2023, officials said. Stephen Yang for NY Post

“I gave him a direct order: Stop it!” the 45-year-old officer told The Post. “The verbal command didn’t work … and I sprayed straight into his face, but the spray wasn’t effective, and he punched me with his fist and knocked me out.”

“I lost consciousness for a couple seconds, then I was escorted away to the clinic,” she continued.

Other officers barged in, sprayed the alleged attacker, Tymirh Bey-Foster, and several other inmates with more OC spray, then restrained them, sources said.

Bey-Foster is an alleged gang member who is being held on murder charges stemming from a New Year’s Eve 2020 shooting that left a 26-year-old dead in Queens.

The seven-year veteran said she was left with several facial and sinus fractures, as well as a cut under her eye.

A female correction officer was punched in the face Monday, leaving her with several facial fractures.

“It’s a horrible feeling,” the officer said. “My face is messed up for what? Because I did my job? I don’t wish this on any officers … we try to do our best.”

Her attack echoes a similar attack that happened in mid-March, where an inmate struck an officer who told him to go back to his cell, sources told The Post.

That attack knocked the officer down and left her with a cut on the lip.

The Post has reached out to the city Department of Corrections.

Union officials say the violence will worsen once a new law takes effect that restricts their use of solitary confinement. Gregory P. Mango for NY Post

The officer attacked Monday said she believes that separating the most violent inmates from the rest of the housing units would help solve the rash of inmate attacks on correction officers, which union officials say has reached 150 since Dec. 20, 2023.

Since that day, there have been 59 slashings, 36 stabbings, 39 spitting incidents, 110 liquid splashings and five sexual assaults, officials said. There were also 108 serious injuries to inmates.

Officials believe this will worsen once a city ban on the use of solitary confinement as punishment for the most violent offenders takes effect in June.

Mayor Eric Adams vetoed the controversial bill three months ago, saying it would make jails even more hazardous for inmates and staff alike.

But the City Council brushed off his concerns and overrode the veto.

The city banned outright solitary — which included 23-hour lockdowns — back in June 2019.

The jail has a lengthy, complicated relationship with solitary confinment. G.N. Miller/New York Post
The attacks mirrored another assault that happened in mid-March, sources said. Chad Rachman/New York Post

Instead, inmates had to be allowed out of their cells for at least four hours every day, according to the NYC Board of Correction website.

Under the new law, guards will only be able to isolate inmates who pose an immediate risk of violence — for no longer than four hours.

Although they can isolate violent inmates for longer, the imprisoned must be let out of their cells for 14 hours a day and have access to the same programming as other inmates.

Rikers Island has a lengthy history of problems with its solitary confinement practices, which came under intense scrutiny after former inmate Kalief Browder, 22, hanged himself in 2015.

His death sparked a wave of reform efforts that led to the city’s decision to stop using solitary for juvenile inmates.

Still, union officials believe the city’s ban on 23-hour lockdowns has sparked an uptick in assaults on correction officers that will only worsen under the new restrictions.

“These inmates are emboldened to assault our officers with impunity because they know we are vastly outnumbered and there will be minimal consequences for their unprovoked assaults,” union President Benny Boscio said in a statement.

“Not only should these assaultive inmates be charged with consecutive sentences, the City Council must repeal this reckless legislation immediately in order to protect the lives of everyone in our jails.”

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