NEW YORK, March 3 (UPI) -- A group of inmates at Rikers Island prison in New York saved a female guard from being raped after she was trapped inside a watch post with another inmate who was attacking her.
The inmates tore away the plexiglass surrounding the watch post, allowing one slender inmate to slip in and unlock the door from the inside. Several inmates then entered the post and physically stopped the attack before the guard could be raped.
The incident took place Saturday night when the alleged attacker, Raleek Young, 27, said he needed to pick up a mattress in another unit. The only way for him to get access to the other unit was through the watch post.
Once inside the post, Young allegedly began to choke the guard while he masturbated.
The incident led to a temporary work stoppage Sunday after guards refused to report to their posts at the start of the 3 p.m. shift. The guards took issue with the fact that the New York Correction Department labeled the attack as a routine "use of force" incident. The workers said the attack should have been labeled a sexual assault.
Young was in prison serving a 5- to-10-year sentence for the 2007 rape of a 13-year-old girl. He now faces new charges of attempted rape, sexual abuse, forcible touching, and assault and harassment.
The entire incident was caught on a security camera.
Correction Officers Benevolent Association President Norman Seabrook praised the actions of the inmates who helped the victim.
"I appreciate [them] helping a sister officer because that could have been their mother, wife or sister," Seabrook told the New York Daily News, which first reported the story. Ninety percent of the inmates "are there to do their time and go home."