We've heard of people trying to break out of Rikers Island, but this is the first time we've heard of someone breaking into Rikers (call it The Rock syndrome: 36-year-old Matthew Matagrano was arrested last night for doing just that this week. And officials believe the convicted sex offender had access for at least a week.
Sources told PIX that Matagrano had an official Department of Correction radio, ID-card, and shield—and he came into contact with “numerous inmates.” Rikers guards became suspicious of him when he moved inmates from one cell to another. Department of Correction Matt Nerzig spokesman told PIX he was apprehended at Bronx courthouse on Friday after he claimed to be a NYC Dept. Of Correction Investigator.
Upon learning Thursday evening of Mr. Matagrano’s impersonation of a NYC Dept. of Correction employee, and his unauthorized access to a DOC facility, the Department of Correction within hours was able to identify the individual through surveillance cameras. The apprehension this afternoon of Mr. Matagrano occurred within 24 hours of when the dept. learned of the situation.
It seems Matagrano has a history of impersonating officials: in 2004, he was arrested for impersonating a NYC Department of Education official in order to enter two public schools and look at confidential student files. He's also been in and out of jails since the '90s, and is a Level-3 sex offender.