DOC officials charged in response to teen inmate attempted suicide

NEWS: DOC officials charged in response to teen inmate attempted suicide

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Four Rikers Island guards, including one captain, were indicted Monday for allegedly waiting nearly eight minutes to help an inmate who attempted to hang himself almost three years ago, prosecutors said.

Department of Correction captain Terry Henry and officers Daniel Fullerton, Kenneth Hood and Mark Wilson were arraigned in Bronx Criminal Court Monday on charges of reckless endangerment and official misconduct Monday in connection with the 2019 jail incident.

Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a statement the officers “ignored their duty” after “allegedly waiting nearly eight minutes until they rendered assistance to the inmate whom they saw hanging.”

On the night of November 27, 2019, Nicholas Feliciano, then 18, stood on a privacy partition, crouched down and then stepped off the partition with the sweatshirts around his neck. His body shook and twisted for about two minutes until it went still, authorities said.

Over the course of seven minutes and 51 seconds, DOC staff and other personnel can be seen on surveillance taking no action even as they walked by Feliciano, according to an investigation by the city’s Department of Investigation and Bronx District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit.

Fullerton, 27, Hood, 35, and Wilson, 46, were on post at the time of the incident and Henry, 37, was supervising, prosecutors said.

Henry and Fullerton, as well as another correction officer, finally cut down Feliciano, whose body was limp on the ground, prosecutors said. Officers then began CPR and called for medical help.

Feliciano, who was taken into custody prior to the 2019 incident for violating parole, is in a rehabilitation center. His family filed a lawsuit against the city in 2020.

The New York Times reported Monday Fullerton and Wilson resigned from DOC in February and Hood was expected to be suspended. Henry, the captain, was expected to return to work on modified duty, the Correction Department said, according to The Times.

The officers were previously suspended for 30 days without pay before returning to work.

All the officers are due back in court Sept. 15.

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