Prison Inmates Save Female Guard From Would-Be Rapist
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The assailant Raleek Young, above, a 29-year-old inmate weighing 290 pounds, grabbed the guard in a choke hold and began masturbating. He dragged her into a nearby bathroom and blocked her from opening the security door.
The inmates, witnessing Young’s actions, helped officers tear out the Plexiglass window of a watch-post to allow access to the bathroom. One skinny inmate slipped through the small crack and opened the security door from the inside, allowing other inmates to rush in and incapacitate Young until further help could arrive.
“I was gonna get at him. I was gonna get at him no matter what,” Franklin Johnson (above), 44, told the Daily News during an exclusive jailhouse interview.
“We don’t violate women. That doesn’t fly,” Johnson added.
He recalled first hearing a “commotion” outside the watch post inside the Anna M. Kross Center.
He walked over to the area and saw Young, a convicted rapist, masturbating and forcing his way inside the locked-down vestibule area. That’s when Young began choking and groping the female correction officer while blocking the gate switch.
“A female corrections officer . . . she serves and watches over us and protects us and she has to deal with this? It’s not right,” Johnson said
Johnson, a convicted drug offender, and several other inmates he recalled as Tate, Kels, Mr. O and Trindad, raced into action. They were joined by Correction Officers Pedro Santiago and Santiago Venegas.
The group desperately tore away at the Plexiglas portion of the watch post opening. Johnson, squeezed inside as the others kicked in and pried the top of the post open.
“It was small,” Johnson recalled. “I was getting in there, though.”
“I wanted to kill him,” he recalled. “There was a broom in there. I grabbed (it) and hit him.”
Norman Seabrook, president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, met on Wednesday some of the inmates who helped rescue the woman and offered to submit a letter of commendation to the judges handling their cases.
“They saved her life,” Seabrook said. “They got through that hole by the grace of God.”
Johnson cut his stomach and side as he slid inside the small opening. He was taken to the jail’s infirmary after the rescue and still had a medical band on his arm Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte released a statement that other Correction Officers blames the Victim for the attach. He then backtracked and issued another letter praising the assaulted correction officer. “I am outraged by what happened and feel deep concern for our (Correction Department) family member,” the memo said. “We are doing everything we can to support our (officer) during this ordeal. She was doing her job and she was made a victim.”
That may not be enough to appease officers who are upset the incident was originally labelled a general “use of force.” instead of Sexual Assault.
Some officers are threatening a job action and urging their colleagues to join in, by going to work but refusing to take their posts.