Two alleged gang members arrested in connection with the shooting of an innocent teen in the Bronx last week are in protective custody at Rikers Island after complaining they were being tormented in jail, according to published reports.
Attorneys for four of the men jailed after the accidental shooting of 15-year-old Vada Vasquez, who took a bullet to the head on her way home from school, asked for the new arrangement after their clients said they feared for their lives, reports the Daily News.
Cleve Smith, 20, and Dwayne Taylor, 23, were among the five suspects arraigned in the Bronx shooting last week. Smith's lawyer said, Matthew Kluger, said Cleve had already suffered a fair amount of abuse while in custody.
"He's been having a tough time inside," Kluger told the News.
Cleve's mother alleged even the correction officers were harassing her son and that they "threw him in the cold shower."
The 16-year-old who allegedly pulled the trigger that fired a round into Vasquez's head, Carvett Gentles, is already in protective custody, which is standard procedure for the charges filed against him.
The suspects are due back in court on Dec. 2. They all entered pleas of not-guilty to attempted murder charges at their arraignment.
Meanwhile, Vasquez continues to recover from the injuries she suffered when the bullet exploded in the middle of her brain. She hasn't yet been able to speak, but her sister says she's making slow progress, reports The New York Post.