BRONX DA: NYC Department of Correction Captain, Three Officers Indicted for Reckless Endangerment in Rikers Island Inmate’s 2019 Suicide Attempt



Defendants Allegedly Failed to Aid Victim When He Hanged Himself in Cell


             Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Jocelyn E. Strauber today announced that a New York City Department of Correction Captain and three Department of Correction Officers have been indicted for failing to help an inmate who had attempted suicide by hanging himself in a holding cell in Rikers Island in 2019. The inmate suffered significant brain damage.


District Attorney Clark said, “The defendants ignored their duty as Correction Officers to maintain custody, care and control of the person incarcerated, by allegedly waiting nearly eight minutes until they rendered assistance to the inmate whom they saw hanging. The young man is now living with extensive brain damage.”


          DOI Commissioner Strauber said, “As alleged, these four Correction Officer defendants failed to provide aid to an inmate who attempted suicide in a holding cell at Rikers.  They delayed assistance or intervention for nearly eight minutes, despite their observations of the inmate, and other inmates’ pleas for help. These officers violated Department of Correction regulations, which required them to protect that inmate, and they broke the law, as charged.  DOI thanks the Bronx District Attorney’s Office for its partnership on this investigation.”


District Attorney Clark said DOC Captain Terry Henry, 37, and DOC Correction Officers Daniel Fullerton, 27, Kenneth Hood, 35, and Mark Wilson, 46, were arraigned today on first-degree Reckless Endangerment, second-degree Reckless Endangerment, and Official Misconduct before Bronx Supreme Court Justice George Villegas. The defendants are due back in court on September 15, 2022.


          According to the investigation by the Department of Investigation and the Bronx District Attorney’s Public Integrity Bureau, the victim, Nicholas Feliciano, then 18 years old, was inside Intake Pen 11 in the George R. Vierno Center on the night of November 27, 2019 when he tied two sweatshirts to the ceiling of the holding cell and wrapped them around his neck. Feliciano stood on the privacy partition, crouched down, then stepped off the partition, causing the sweatshirts to constrict his neck. Feliciano’s body shook and twisted for approximately two minutes until he went still.


         According to the investigation, over the course of seven minutes and 51 seconds, DOC staff and other personnel can be seen on surveillance video walking past Feliciano and taking no action to cut him down or render aid. Defendants Hood, Wilson, and Fullerton were on post in the Intake, and their supervisor at the time was Captain Henry. Henry, Fullerton, and another Correction Officer ultimately attempted to cut Feliciano down, and the victim fell to the ground, limp. They began CPR and called for medical assistance. Feliciano suffered significant brain damage and is currently in a rehabilitation center.


The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Cassie Perez and Jared Rosen of the Public Integrity Bureau, under the supervision of Omer Wiczyk, Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau, and under the overall supervision of Denise Kodjo, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division, and Wanda Perez-Maldonado, Chief of the Investigations Division.  District Attorney Clark thanked Trial Preparation Assistant Carlina Bayuelo of the Public Integrity Bureau for her assistance in the case.


          District Attorney Clark thanked DOI for its investigation of this matter by Deputy Inspector General Richard Askin under the supervision of Inspector General Whitney Ferguson, Deputy Commissioner/Chief of Investigations Dominick Zarrella and First Deputy Commissioner Daniel G. Cort.


An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

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