New Video Shows Melee in NYC Juvenile Center That Left 21 Officers Hurt

New footage obtained by News 4 shows the fight that left 21 correction officers hurt at a juvenile detention facility in the Bronx earlier this week.

The surveilance footage obtained Thursday afternoon, shows throngs of correction officers attempting to restrain several teens in a hallway during the melee Wednesday in a school area of Horizon Juvenile Center in the Bronx .

Several black-clad correction officers can be seen struggling to hold back the children as they run and try to swipe at one another. 

The union for the officers, the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association, said Wednesday that several were taken to the hospital with head, neck, chest and arm injuries. One photo released by the union also showed an officer's heavily bandaged hand. 

It's not clear how badly the officers were hurt in the fight, though photos released by their union, the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association, showed one with a heavily bandaged hand. It's also unclear how many teens were injured. 

A new state law mandates that 16- and 17-year-olds accused of crimes be moved from Rikers to Horizon, and in the past few days, multiple fights have broken out there, according to correction officials, with both residents and officers getting injured. Twenty-one officers were injured in Wednesday's incident, but more than a dozen others have also been hurt at Horizon since the beginning of last weekend. 

A spokeswoman for the Administration for Children's Services, which runs Horizon, said in a statement Wednesday, "We are in a transitionary period for historic reform that's never been done before, and there have been some incidents involving youth and officers which were quickly addressed. None of the injuries were serious, but we take these and all incidents seriously." 

But correction officers claimed after the fight that those at Horizon are sitting ducks, unable to protect themselves with pepper spray, which is their one self-defense weapon in the jail system. 

"The 16- and 17-year-olds that we have in the building, they're violent. They're violent," said Elias Husanudeen, president of the COBA union. "The incident that happened today is an incident that happened between gangs, regardless of their age. We can call them kids, we can call them whatever they want, this place has to be shut down." 

Last month, Karen Fox gave up her New York City correction officer job rather than be transferred from Rikers Island to the Horizon juvenile facility in the Bronx run by ACS. 

"It was horrible at Rikers, but now at Horizon, it's like 10 times worse than Rikers was," she said. 

The union has called for for Horizon to be shut down, but it's unlikely that will happen. 

In an additional statement Thursday, the ACS says it's providing three additional program counselors to motivate youth attend school in the morning;  working on adding more staff to the facility; implementing classifications to separate youth based on risk factors; getting approval to secure classroom furniture to the floor and frosting classroom windows; and increasing hours of recreation staff to increase engagement and decrease idle time.

ACS also says the youth who were suspended from school as a result of the melee Wednesday will be provided school work packets while they're out, and ACS will work with their families to engage them again.

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