2 inmates stabbed, another OD'd as violence and contraband continue to plague Rikers Island

The mayhem started early in the morning when a corrections officer saw three detainees slashing an inmate

By Janon Fisher and Graham Rayman
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Two inmates were stabbed and another overdosed on Saturday, according to sources, as violence and contraband continue to plague Rikers Island.

The mayhem started early in the morning when a correction officer saw three detainees slashing inmate Michael Bellvue, 23, who is in jail on a robbery charge in the George R. Vierno Center, a source said.

The 5 a.m. attack — by Hafiz Ahmed, 23; Kamani Romain, 23; and Christopher Vazquez, 30 — was caught on jail security cameras, but officers did not find any weapons during their investigation, the source said.

Bellvue was treated for nonfatal injuries.

The Department of Correction did not respond to an email seeking information and comment.

It’s unclear if the attackers were charged. Ahmed is awaiting trial for attempted murder and other crimes, Vazquez has been charged with murder and evidence tampering and Romain was hit with three counts of robbery last September.

Later Saturday, inmate Paul Grant, 23, was stabbed in the chest at the Eric M. Taylor Center.

A correction officer ordered detainees Carlos Quinones, 50; Luis Rosas, 41; Franklin Santos, 23; and Carlos Correa, 33 to stop the attack around 1:30 p.m., according to a source. But they continued until the guard blasted them with pepper spray.

Grant, who is behind bars on drug, assault, menacing and petit larceny charges, was taken to Bellevue Hospital and treated for nonfatal injuries to his chest, back and right arm.

It’s unclear whether the alleged attackers, who are in Rikers for assault and weapons violations, were charged in the incident.

Also Saturday, inmate Ozzborn Thomas was found unconscious and unresponsive on his bed inside the island jail’s North Infirmary Command, according to a source. A correction officer called for help at 12:25 p.m. and jail medical staff arrived to administer Narcan, an injection or inhalant that revives an overdose victim.

Thomas, who has been in jail since February 2020 for sexual abuse, was able to breathe on his own again by 1:20 p.m., a source said.

Violence and drug use among the inmate population has been a problem at Rikers for decades.

court-appointed monitor has been observing jail violence since 2015, and there had been talk among civil rights advocates and elected officials of a federal takeover of the jail to fix the problem.

Drug abuse and contraband inside the jail complex have proven fatal to detainees. Of the 19 inmates that died behind bars in 2023, four succumbed to an overdose.

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