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480-Pound Inmate Forced to Wear Sheets After Clothes Are Stolen, Claim Says

By Eddie Small | July 21, 2014 2:57pm
 Freddie Harvin was arrested for arson on October 7.
Freddie Harvin was arrested for arson on October 7.
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DNAinfo/Theodore Parisienne

RIKERS ISLAND — A 480-pound inmate at Rikers Island was forced to walk around in bedsheets because another prisoner stole his clothes, which were "irreplaceable" because of his size, according to a claim filed with the city comptroller's office.

Freddie Harvin, 51, an accused arsonist, says that he had underwear, shirts and socks taken from his cell at the Anna M. Kross Center.

According to the claim received by the city comptroller's office on July 16, Harvin, who was arrested last October for arson, said his clothing had been stolen while he was hospitalized and that the Department of Correction has nothing for him to wear.

“I am a very large man weighing (480) four hundred and eighty pounds," he wrote in the claim. "My clothes are really irreplaceable, and the Dept of Corrections has nothing in my size, and I am walking around in sheets."

According to the claim, which is a precursor to filing a lawsuit, Harvin — listed as 6-foot-1 in DOC records — was taken to the hospital for medical issues on May 21 and returned two days later to find several items missing.

"The property in my cell was packed by an inmate who was apparently unsupervised because all of my things were taken," he wrote.

He claims he was missing two pairs of pants, three pairs of underwear, two T-shirts, two regular shirts, three pairs of socks, $30 worth of commissary goods and a Sony radio.

Harvin is accused of torching a towel to set off a fire alarm at 151 Rochester Ave., near St. Mark's Avenue, in Brooklyn last September.

The blaze, which ignited a bath mat, charred the bathroom's wall and floor, causing damages of more than $1,500, the criminal complaint says.

He faces three counts of arson, two counts of reckless endangerment and two counts of criminal mischief, and his next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 13, legal records show.

He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail or $200,000 bond.

The DOC disputed Harvin's allegations and said that he has clothes, according to a spokesman.

Harvin's lawyer could not be reached for comment. The city's law department referred questions to the comptroller's office, which declined comment.