A correction officer at Rikers Island was injured yesterday after he was attacked by inmates.

The officer, who ABC 7 identified as 31-year-old Ray Calderone, reportedly opened a cell door for one inmate in the 18-to-21 year old section of the prison at around 4:30 p.m., when that inmate grabbed him from behind, put him in a chokehold, and threw him to the ground. Two other inmates allegedly then slashed him in the head, wrist, ears and face. ABC 7 says the two inmates involved were 19-year-old Darnel Green and 18-year-old William Whitfield.

Calderone was treated at Elmhurst Hospital Center and is expected to recover from his injuries. In a statement, Rikers Officials said Department of Correction Commissioner Joe Ponte said he "has zero tolerance for assaults on staff," and that the DOC "is seeking re-arrest of any inmate involved."


Violent and abusive incidents at Rikers has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, as several horrifying incidents have come to light. Two weeks ago, a federal judge okayed a massive settlement aiming to mitigate inmate abuse at the hands of correction officers. Prior to the ruling, in January the Board of Correction voted to do away with solitary confinement for inmates under 21.

Norman Seabrook, president of the Correctional Officers Benevolent Association, took issue with the new rules then, and blamed yesterday's violence on the reforms. "You can do whatever you want to do to a corrections officer and not worry about repercussion of any type,” he told 1010 WINS yesterday. "I’m thankful that the correction officer is alive. It’s unfortunate that I do believe, as the president of this organization, that there will be a correction officer killed at the hands of an inmate - because there is no penalty to what they do."

The DOC has not responded to our request for comment.