A Rikers Island jail surveillance camera captured footage of an inmate, who has a history of attacking strangers, violently punching a 24-year-old medical intern Wednesday.
Joseph McRae's unprovoked attack on Stephanie Porcelli happened around 11:30 a.m. at the jail's George R. Vierno Center in New York City.
The New York Daily News observed the security video, which shows the small-framed Porcelli getting sucker punched in the face by the 5-foot-9, 150-pound McRae.
Porcelli can be seen wearing a white lab coat, carrying a clipboard in her right hand and reaching to open an office door McRae was standing next to, the Daily News reports. As she walks up to the door, it appears McRae pretends to take a swing at her, prompting Porcelli to say something to him.
That's when he threw a right roundhouse punch to her face, and caused Porcelli to fall to the floor. As McRae hovered over her, a guard rushed over to avoid further violence.
Porcelli was taken to Booth Memorial Hospital in Queens, where she was scheduled to go into surgery Friday for fractured facial bones and a broken jaw.
McRae had been locked up on charges of assault July 30 for hitting a woman in the face at Penn Station, officials said.
A correction officer at the Manhattan Detention Center was also struck in the face and knocked unconscious Thursday by an inmate who resisted being handcuffed, according to officials.
Another incident outside of New York occurred at Saginaw County Jail in Michigan on Oct. 20, 2013, when a nurse was attacked by a 45-year-old inmate after she performed a medical evaluation, MLive reported. She had a thermometer on a lanyard, which the inmate held against her neck as if to stab her with it, officials said.
The nurse suffered fractured cartilage in her larynx, and bruises on her throat, neck and arm, but was treated at a local hospital.
The Saginaw County Sheriff pointed out that the jail holds over 500 inmates with an average of 11 correction officers on duty.