Rikers Guard Says ‘The Inmates Are In Control' After Being Slashed

A Rikers Island guard who was slashed in the arm told the I-Team that "the inmates are in control," just weeks after video surfaced showing inmates trashing a cell and taunting guards. 

The guard, who asked not to be named, was one of the two correction officers sources and officials said were slashed in the arms during an outbreak of violence at the city jail complex. 

"The inmates are in control," the guard said. "We are no longer in control."

Photos obtained by the I-Team show long gashes on both officers' arms. In one, Correction Department officials said that a correction officer was cut by handcuffs placed on an inmate who slashed the other two inmates. The other officer was slashed while breaking up an attack on an inmate by six other inmates. 

Both officers were treated and released from a local hospital.

The DOC said despite the guard's statements about increasing violence, attacks on Rikers employees resulting in serious injury are down 34 percent so far this year when compared to 2015. The department said it is also taking new measures to increase safety of both inmates and correction officers.

"Any assault on the hardworking men and women of this department is outrageous and while no assault on an officer or other staff member is ever acceptable, our reforms are working to reduce jail violence," said DOC Commissioner Joseph Ponte.

Earlier this month, the I-Team obtained video showing several inmates allegedly aligned with gangs on a wrecking mission in their cells, tearing up virtually everything they could get their hands on. 

The inmates caused thousands of dollars worth of damage in the rampage, according to an incident report. Officers said at the time were hesitant to stop it. 

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