Sunday, 16 March 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Four Rikers Island Inmates Use Toilet To Break Cinderblock Cell Walls In Escape Attempt

These cell walls were smashed open by a group of four inmates trying to break out from their solitary confinement on Rikers Island on Monday.

Here’s a scheme that lends a whole new dimension to the traditional bathroom break.
Four Rikers Island inmates tried to escape from their solitary cells by ripping a porcelain toilet out of the floor and smashing it through the cinderblock walls of five cells inside the city jailhouse on Monday.
The inmates — Vernon Easley, Chris Martinez, Jeffrey Lashley and Naquan Febres — crawled through the holes and confronted an officer with the bricks from the wall, department records show.
The beleaguered officer ran off and called for backup, according to a Rikers superviser briefed on the incident.
“The inmates entered the dayroom and refused to exit,” an internal department report stated.

Four inmates used some of these bricks as weapons.


Four inmates used some of these bricks as weapons.

The officers eventually averted a major fracas after the top supervisers convinced the inmates to go back into different cells.

“The officers and captain on post showed remarkable professionalism and restraint and no force was necessary to deal with this incident,” said acting Correction Department commissioner Mark Cranston.
But the foiled escape caused an estimated $6,000 in damage, a Rikers source said.
Criminal charges are pending.
Naquan Febres was one of the imates involved in the attempted escape, police said.


Naquan Febres was one of the imates involved in the attempted escape, police said.

“Those who caused it will be held accountable,” Cranston said.
It’s still unclear how the officer who was patrolling the area in the George Motchan Detention Center failed to hear the commotion while the inmates executed their attempt to break out.
Officers are under orders to check the cells once every 30 minutes in that area.
Jail supervisers are now worried other inmates will attempt similar loo-nacy.
Another jail cell hole knocked open by a toilet.


Another jail cell hole knocked open by a toilet.

“This has never happened before,” a veteran jail boss said. “All the other inmates are going to find out. Word travels fast.”
A department official pointed out that the incident occurred in the housing unit for mentally ill inmates, who are prone to acting out.
And all of the inmates were in the process of being moved to another, more secure area, the official said.
The percentage of inmates with mental illness has grown from 24% in fiscal year 2005 to 39% in fiscal year 2013, records show.
But veteran jail supervisers contend that it’s common for inmates who are punished for bad behavior to fake an illness, to get themselves out of solitary.
The inmates squeezed through this hole.


The inmates squeezed through this hole.

Records show that 40% of the inmates who were awaiting placement to solitary confinement last year were abruptly deemed mental health risks who could not be left alone.
“That displays a manipulative ploy to circumvent the disciplinary process,” said Sidney Schwartzbaum, the union president who represent top jail bosses.
Still, Mayor de Blasio vowed Tuesday to reduce the number of inmates placed in solitary as he appointed Joseph Ponte to head the jail system.
“Over the years, it has sadly lagged behind many corrections systems in terms of updating some of its practices and procedures,” Hizzoner told reporters.
Ponte, who led the Maine Department of Corrections, promised carry out those changes.
But union bosses are skeptical.
“God help the officers, inmates and non-uniform staff when and if the progressive agenda that’s facing New Yorkers takes place,” said Norman Seabrook, president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association.

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