NEW YORK CITY — A Rikers Island beat down could soon turn into hard time for a gang of corrections department employees indicted in Bronx Supreme Court Wednesday on dozens of charges stemming from the July 2012 assault of an inmate.
According to the 53-count indictment, five members of the Emergency Services Unit at Rikers' George R. Vierno Center pummeled inmate Jahmal Lightfoot, 28, in a small search cell, leaving him with multiple skull fractures and what Lightfoot's attorney Sanford Rubenstein called "horrific facial injuries."
The beat down was allegedly carried out on the order of former Assistant Chief for Security Eliseo Perez Jr., 46, and Capt. Gerald Vaughn, 46, according to prosecutors.
All five were charged with attempted gang assault in the first degree and a handful of lesser assault charges related to the July 2012 incident.
The officials, along with three others, were also charged with falsifying records and tempering with evidence to cover up the assault, creating what prosecutors portray as a bogus paper trail to justify the use of force.
The top charge carries a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
Lightfoot is currently serving a four-year sentence at Franklin Correctional Facility in upstate New York for second-degree robbery. He has filed a lawsuit against the DOC and the city for an undisclosed amount.