CO injured in Rikers attack was warned by family not to work at jail

“We didn’t want him to have this job,” said the officer’s aunt

By Catherina Gioino and Reuven Blau
New York Daily News

RIKERS ISLAND, N.Y. — Family members of a correction officer whose spine was fractured by a group of inmates said they warned him against taking a job on Rikers Island.

“We didn’t want him to have this job,” said the officer’s aunt, Marie Souffrant, 65, moments before she drove to the hospital to visit her injured nephew.

On Saturday, he was hit in the head by a lunging inmate, Steven Espinal, inside the George Motchan Detention Center at 6:27, video shows.

Espinal, a reputed Bloods member, was upset that the 39-year-old officer, whom the Daily News is declining to name due to security concerns, had given him a so-called “ticket” due to an earlier infraction.

Mayor de Blasio spoke to the officer and vowed to get to the bottom of the “heinous attack.”

But the union representing jail officers is furious. “He said he is not bringing back the tools that we have historically used to control violent inmates,” fumed Elias Husamudeen, president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association. “He prefers to listen to advocacy groups over us.”

©2018 New York Daily News

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