Queens corrections officer arrested for covering up his violent assault of a Rikers Island inmate

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

A corrections officer from Springfield Gardens faces federal charges for allegedly beating up an inmate at Rikers Island two years ago.

Rodiny Calypso, 38, allegedly assaulted an inmate without physical provocation while the inmate was handcuffed behind his back and filed a false report in order to cover up the incident.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, at around noon on Feb. 27, 2014, Calypso relieved another corrections officer while the inmate was in the shower. Moments later, he had a verbal exchange with the inmate.

When the inmate was done showering, federal prosecutors said, Calypso allegedly rear-cuffed the inmate for removal and looked in the direction of two officers who were near the scene.

Authorities said Calypso then opened the shower door and allegedly punched the inmate repeatedly in the face. He went into the shower area and put the victim in a headlock and punched him several more times in the head. At this point, Calypso started to lose his footing and clung onto the victim’s side, officials say.

A second officer, who was near the shower at the time, arrived and restrained the victim, allowing Calypso to regain his footing and elbow the victim five times in the head.

The assault caused lacerations to the victim’s face and head. The entire attack was captured on surveillance video and witnessed by multiple inmates whose cells were positioned opposite the shower area.

Following the assault, Calypso filed a “Use of Force Report” and attempted to justify his conduct by falsely stating that the victim had spit on him and attempted to spit on him again. He also misstated portions of the assault, leaving out the punches that were delivered while the the victim was in a headlock and claimed the victim was hit in the upper torso.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said, “Rodiny Calypso allegedly violated a Rikers Island inmate’s constitutional rights by viciously beating him – without physical provocation – while the inmate was restrained in handcuffs.  As we have said before, the protections of our Constitution extend to those in prisons, and this Office will remain vigilant about protecting the rights of all, including those confined within the walls of Rikers Island.”

Calypso was charged with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law and one count of filing false forms. If convicted, Calypso faces up to 30 years in prison.

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