Rikers Island inmate repeatedly stabs guard

An inmate repeatedly stabbed a guard at Rikers Island on Monday, according to the New York City Department of Correction.

The attack happened at about 4:45 p.m. at the Anna M. Kross Center, officials said. The wounded correction officer was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens in stable condition.

"This was an unprovoked heinous and callous attack on one of our dedicated officers, who was simply doing their job," Commissioner Louis Molina said in a statement to FOX 5 NY. "We will not tolerate any assaults on our Members of Service who show up to work each day to keep our jails safe." 

The Correction Department arrested the inmate for the attack.  FOX 5 News cited sources in identifying the inmate as 28-year-old Dennis Applewhite.  He has been in the jail since February.  He allegedly shot his pregnant girlfriend to death in 2021.

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The president of the union that represents correction officers said the inmate stabbed the guard "approximately 15 times" in the back of his head. The officer was conscious when he underwent tests at the hospital, COBA President Benny Boscio said.

The New York City Council is considering a bill to end solitary confinement in city jails.  The union says these sorts of attacks show why it is needed.

"This heinous attack demonstrates exactly why the Public Advocate and City Council must immediately pull the Bill to end punitive segregation before one of us gets killed," Boscio said.

In an unrelated incident, an inmate at the same jail facility died Monday. 

Gilberto Garcia, 26, had been in pretrial custody on a first-degree robbery charge for nearly three years, according to the Correction Department. He is the 16th person to die in DOC custody so far in 2022.

The city's chief medical examiner will try to determine Garcia's cause of death. The state Attorney General's Office and the city's Department of Investigation are expected to investigate the death, as is policy.