NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - A Rikers Island inmate assaulted a correction officer over the weekend. It is the fourth such attack in under a month. The union that represents guards says something must be done or the city has blood on its hands.
In the latest attack, an officer was burned and beaten as he was finishing a shift on Saturday night at the jail complex. The officer, whose name was not released, was left with a broken nose and first and third-degree burns.
The officer's union says the inmate threw scalding hot water on him and then repeatedly punched him. The officer was transferred to the emergency room at New York Cornell Hospital.
The Correction Officers' Benevolent Association is calling out the mayor for "doing nothing" to prevent attacks.
"We do not have the backing or the protection of the mayor of the city of New York," union president Elias Husamdeen says. "I have members who are afraid."
Husamdeen says the 21-year-old inmate accused of the attack, who is jailed on murder charges, is housed in an enhanced supervision housing union but should be in punitive segregation. Mayor de Blasio eliminated that practice.
Violent inmates aged 18 to 21 used to be put into the segregated housing units after assaulting a correction officer but that all stopped in October 2016, according to the union. The inmate accused in this weekend's attack had already attacked another correction officer last year, according to the union.
In other recent attacks, one officer was cut across his face, a female officer had her jaw broken by inmates under the age of 21, and in the most brutal attack, an officer suffered a fractured neck after being beaten by four alleged members of the Bloods gang.
"Do I think Mayor de Blasio wants to see one of us to get killed? No. But I don't think he cares enough to stop it from happening," Husamdeen says.
The union is demanding that all hot pots be removed from city jails immediately.
The administration released this statement to Fox 5 News: "Outrageous attacks like this, on an officer just doing his job helping keep the rest of us safe, are exactly why this inmate was immediately placed into more restrictive custody. This inmate will also be arrested and face serious charges."
The de Blasio administration made closing the sprawling jail complex a campaign promise. He recently reached a deal with the city to close it over the next several years.