An inmate at the George Motchan Detention Center in East Elmhurst, New York, at the Rikers Island prison complex, stabbed a correctional officer in the ear on Saturday, which will more than likely result in permanent hearing damage.
New York Daily News reports that Raphael Ishmail, an inmate at the prison, grabbed a pen during a medical consultation. At around 3:25 p.m. on Saturday, the inmate, using the pen as a weapon, stabbed a correctional officer in his right ear. The corrections officer was rushed to the hospital after the incident, where physicians declared that the pen damage will likely result in permanent hearing loss.
According to a department spokesman, the inmate will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The incident marks the eighth stabbing in the prison since January 1.
“This assault on our officer was unacceptable. Such attacks against the hardworking men and women who serve in our department will not be tolerated.”
The prison’s Correction Commissioner, Joseph Ponte, stated that in an attempt to reduce violence at the detention center, he’s developed a plan for additional officers, cameras, and training. The added security, per Norman Seabrook, the Correction Officers union boss is needed to curb the increasing violence.
“And eliminating punitive segregation isn’t the right move at this time. We hope DOC will work with us to protect our members.”
Earlier this month, five other Riker’s Island correctional officers were attacked by inmates. The prisoners who attacked the officers were in the segregation unit, used for “uncontrollable inmates.” ABC 7 reports that around 5 p.m. on January 6, two inmates, both under the age of 21, began attacking two correctional officers.
The incident quickly escalated. Other inmates jumped in to join the attack, resulting in additional officers using a chemical spray on the inmates to diffuse the situation.
A total of five correctional officers were injured. One of the officers had a black eyes and cuts on his face when the ordeal was over, and the other officer had a fractured nose. Another officer had a hand injury after being slammed into a gate, and another officer suffered from crushed foot bones. The fifth officer was sent to the hospital after he was exposed to chemical spray while trying to stop the attacks.
Seaborn reiterated that taking these troubled inmates out of segregation will do nothing but aggravate the escalating rate of attacks. He also indicated that the mayor shouldn’t make decisions unless he’s been personally attacked by inmates.
“Until the mayor walks in the shoes of a New York City correction officer that has his or her eye socket busted out, then he will have a difference of opinion. We’re trying to do this to protect not only correction officers but the wellbeing of the other inmates that are incarcerated in the city’s jail system along with the non-uniformed members of the Department of Corrections. Everybody deserves to be safe.”
Seabrook states that the inmates involved in attacking the correctional officers should get at least five to seven years added to their sentences. In the past few years alone, the city was required to pay millions due to numerous uncontrolled inmates beating officers at Rikers Island.
[Photo Courtesy of Spencer Platt/Getty Images]