Zeldin reacts after Rikers Island correction officer stabbed 15 times by inmate: ‘Crime emergency’



Republican candidate for governor of New York Lee Zeldin on Monday night condemned the stabbing of a correction officer at the notorious jail complex Rikers Island, vowing to declare a “crime emergency.”

“An officer was just stabbed 15 times while on duty inside Rikers Island and is now in the hospital,” Zeldin said in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital. “Praying for this selfless officer and wishing him a very speedy recovery. We MUST repeal the HALT Act immediately and back the blue.”

Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul — currently polling a razor-thin margin ahead of congressman Zeldin a week before Election Day — signed the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act into law in March after its approval by the Democratic-controlled state legislature. 

The law limits the use of solitary confinement for all incarcerated individuals to 15 days and places other restrictions on the disciplinary measure condemned by advocates as a form of “psychological torture.” 

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New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin speaks at the entrance to the Rikers Island jail on October 24, 2022, where he received the endorsement of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association (COBA). 
(Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

“On Day ONE, when I declare a Crime Emergency in New York, this dangerous law will be one of several pro-criminal laws that I will suspend,” Zeldin added. 

Benny Boscio, president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association (COBA), reacted to the “heinous, unprovoked stabbing” of the correction officer, while also placing blame on the HALT Act. 

New York Republican candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin campaigns alongside Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at a Get Out The Vote Rally on October 29, 2022 in Hauppauge, New York. 

New York Republican candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin campaigns alongside Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at a Get Out The Vote Rally on October 29, 2022 in Hauppauge, New York. 
(David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

“Earlier today, while working in the protective custody unit at the Anna M. Kross Center, one of our Correction Officers was brutally stabbed in the back of his head approximately 15 times by an inmate,” Boscio said in a statement Monday night. “The Executive Board and I are with the officer at the hospital, who is conscious and undergoing tests. I want to thank Mayor Adams and Commissioner Molina for also visiting the officer tonight. This heinous attack demonstrates exactly why the Public Advocate and City Council must immediately pull the Bill to end punitive segregation before one of us gets killed.” 

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul campaigns for the upcoming New York gubernatorial election on October 26, 2022, at a senior center in Brooklyn.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul campaigns for the upcoming New York gubernatorial election on October 26, 2022, at a senior center in Brooklyn.
(Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

At approximately 4:45 p.m. Monday, an officer was assaulted at the Anna M. Kross Center (AMKC). The officer sustained serious injuries and was taken to a local hospital, where he was in stable condition. The incident is still under investigation, according to the New York City Department of Correction. 

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“This was an unprovoked heinous and callous attack on one of our dedicated officers, who was simply doing their job,” Louis Molina, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction, said in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital. “We will not tolerate any assaults on our Members of Service who show up to work each day to keep our jails safe. We are rearresting the individual who committed this deplorable attack. We are praying for this officer to make a speedy recovery.”