On Saturday night, a female corrections officer was sexually assaulted by a Rikers Island inmate, but a group of inmates stepped up to help save her.
According to the NY Daily News, the assailant, Raleek Young, 27, was able to get inside the bubble-like “A station” watch post when he claimed to be on his way to pick up a mattress from another unit. Once inside, he pulled down his pants and choked the officer while he masturbated. He dragged her into a bathroom and blocked her from opening the security door.
A group of inmates helped frantic corrections officers who were responding to tear away at the Plexiglass on the outside of the post. One skinny inmate was able to slip through the opening they had created and open the security door, and a team of inmates rushed inside to rescue the corrections officer until other officers could arrive for backup.
Correction Officers Benevolent Association President Norman Seabrook said the attack could have been much worse if the inmates had not stepped in to help. “I appreciate (them) helping a sister officer because that could have been their mother, wife or sister,” he said and added that 90% of the inmates “are there to do their time and go home.”
Young, who was serving a 5-10 year sentence for raping a 13-year-old girl, was arraigned Monday on new charges of attempted rape, sexual abuse, forcible touching, and assault and harassment. However, the union president was absolutely furious that Young was not instantly arrested and charged.
Seabrook became involved after officers at the facility refused to go to their post in protest of the jail’s brass labeling the incident a routine “use of force” matter rather than a sexual assault.
“There must be accountability,” Seabrook said Monday. “Officers are assaulted every day, and [Bronx DA Robert Johnson] has the audacity to say, ‘Not today, bring him back at another time.’ I will not tolerate it. I will not stand for it.”