Officials are investigating after new claims that correction officers allowed an inmate to attempt to take his own life.
ABC reports that three guards and a captain have been suspended after the allegations.
The incident took place last Thursday, according to CBS.
It was reported that the 18-year-old, identified as Nicholas Feliciano, tried to hang himself with a piece of clothing, and the guards allegedly watched him for seven minutes before intervening, according to The New York Times.
It was reported that Feliciano was arrested on November 19 on a parole violation.
The 18-year-old survived the attempt and is currently in a medically induced coma. The New York Times reports that the 18-year-old was put into the coma on Tuesday. Sources told outlets that Feliciano was on a respirator with no brain activity.
The New York Times also reported that Feliciano had a history of mental health issues and suicide attempts.
ABC says that before the attempt, it was reported that the inmate got into a fight at the jail, and was moved out of the general population the day he attempted to take his life.
DOC Commissioner Cynthia Brann released the following statement about the incident:
“The claims being made here are extremely troubling and we are taking them seriously. The safety and well-being of those in our custody is our number one priority and an investigation into this incident is underway. Three officers and one captain have already been suspended and if the outcome of the investigation warrants, we will take appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination. We have referred this case to the city’s Department of Investigation, which is conducting an independent inquiry.”
News of this incident comes after Mayor de Blasio shared news earlier this week that the land use process has been started to officially prohibit the incarceration of individuals in Rikers after December 31, 2026.
They are seeking to change the Rikers Island designation on the official city map to a public place.
Mayor de Blasio said in a statement earlier this week that, “By guaranteeing that Rikers will never again be used for incarceration, we’re charting a new course forward for the island and the people of New York City.”
He added, “We’re making good on our promise to close Rikers once and for all. Though mass incarceration may not have started here, we’ll do all we can to make sure it ends here.”
As part of the roadmap to closing Rikers, it was reported that the Eric M. Taylor Center (EMTC) on Rikers Island will close in March. Additionally, the Brooklyn Detention Complex (BKDC) in Boerum Hill will close by the end of January.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are worried about a loved one, help is available. For assistance, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741-741. For more resources, go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.