A group of inmates from Rikers Island reportedly saved a female prison guard from rape by another inmate who had managed to trap her in a bathroom.
Raleek Young, 27, reportedly claimed he had to pick up a mattress in another unit and was able to get inside of a secure "bubble area," where he then dragged the unidentified officer into a bathroom and blocked her from accessing the security door. The inmate, who is 5-foot-9, 290 pounds, and is serving a five-to-10 year sentence for raping a 13-year-old girl in 2007, allegedly choked the guard while pulling down his pants and masturbating, reports the New York Daily News.
During the incident, other inmates reportedly helped responding correction officers by tearing away the Plexiglass that stands outside of the bubble-like watch post. One of the smaller prisoners reportedly slipped inside of the "A station" bubble through a small crack and was able to open the security door.
The inmates allegedly threw Young to the ground and kept him there until other officers responded.
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Correction Department spokeswoman Eve Kessler say the matter is still under investigation. Part of the attack were reportedly caught on video.
Officers protested after learning the incident was going to be labeled as one involving routine "use of force" and not a "sexual assault." On Sunday, they refused to show up at their posts for their 3 p.m. start time and dug in their heels until Correction Officers Benevolent Association President Normal Seabrook agreed to support them.
"There must be accountability," Seabrook said. "Officers are assaulted every day, and (Bronx DA Robert Johnson) has the audacity to say, 'Not today, bring him back at another time.' I will not tolerate it. I will not stand for it."
As a result of their efforts, Young was reportedly arraigned Monday and faces new charges: attempted rape, sexual abuse, forcible touching, and assault and harassment.
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Seabrook says the inmates had helped prevent something far worse from happening to the officer.
"I appreciate (them) helping a sister officer because that could have been their mother, wife or sister," Seabrook said. He also made it clear that 90 percent of the inmates "are there to do their time and go home."
Source: New York Daily News
Photo Credit: NYS Department of Correctional Service, WikiCommons