A Rikers Island inmate severely beat a female prison guard, leaving her battered with severe bruises to her head and two black eyes.
Correction Capt. Elizabeth Sturdivant was repeatedly punched in the face by an inmate in a housing unit at the Anna M. Kross Center on Aug. 12, records show.
Jessy Blount, 28, went into a rage as Sturdivant began to issue him an infraction for beating up another inmate in a separate melee, a jail source said.
Before he lunged, Sturdivant used pepper spray in a failed attempt to get him to move back.
“I’m going to forget you are a female and knock you out,” said Blount, according to the criminal complaint, the New York Daily News reports.
Blount, whose criminal history dates back to 2003, then repeatedly punched Sturdivant in the head before other officers raced to her aid, court papers show.
Sturdivant suffered a large hematoma on her forehead and two black eyes.
The Correction Department has changed its use of force policy following multiple high-profile cases of inmate abuse. The new rules require officers to first use pepper spray and avoid hitting inmates in the face. This left the female prison guard vulnerable when the inmate raged out of control.
“Again we have somebody beaten by an inmate and our hands are tied,” said Patrick Ferraioulo, president of the Correction Captains Association, which represents Sturdivant. “It’s only going to get worse. People are afraid to defend themselves.”