Inmates Speak about Saving Guard From Rape #RikersIsland

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Franklin Johnson, 44, 'knew he had to' help a female correction officer during an attempted rape.

DOC

Franklin Johnson, 44, ‘knew he had to’ help a female correction officer during an attempted rape.

The Rikers Island inmate who led the rescue of a female correction officer during an attempted rape “knew he had to” help her.

“I was gonna get at him. I was gonna get at him no matter what,” Franklin Johnson, 44, told the Daily News during an exclusive jailhouse interview Wednesday.

“We don’t violate women. That doesn’t fly,” Johnson added.

He recalled first hearing a “commotion” outside the bubblelike watch post inside the Anna M. Kross Center about 8:15 p.m. on Saturday.

He walked over to the area and saw 290-pound Raleek Young masturbating and forcing his way inside the locked-down vestibule area. That’s when Young, a 27-year-old convicted rapist, began choking and groping the female correction officer while blocking the gate switch, according to the criminal complaint.

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“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.

Raleek Young, a 27-year-old convicted rapist, began choking and groping the female correction officer while blocking the gate switch, according to the criminal complaint.

NYS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICE

Raleek Young, a 27-year-old convicted rapist, began choking and groping the female correction officer while blocking the gate switch, according to the criminal complaint.

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, who weighs 145 pounds, 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.”

There wasn’t a second to spare.

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Young, who is serving a five-to-10 year sentence for raping a 13-year-old girl in 2007, had just dragged the officer into an adjacent bathroom.

“She look terrorized,” Johnson recalled. “She wanted to fight him. She was violated.”

Inside, Johnson and others forcefully took down Young and waited for additional responding officers. Young was at Rikers awaiting a court date.

“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.”

The labor leader also lauded the two correction officers who helped in the rescue.

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ANTHONY DELMUNDO/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

The Rikers Island inmate recalled first hearing a ‘commotion’ outside the bubblelike watch post inside the Anna M. Kross Center about 8:15 p.m. on Saturday.

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.

“It was heroic of him,” a jail source said.

Meanwhile, Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte backtracked from his tone-deaf Tuesday message to staffers that warned them to “adhere closely to basic correctional practices.”

On Wednesday, he 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 labeled a general “use of force.”

Some officers are threatening a job action Friday and urging their colleagues to join in, according to a text and a Facebook post obtained by The News.

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The group desperately tore away at the Plexiglas portion of the watch post opening. Johnson, who weighs 145 pounds, squeezed inside as the others kicked in and pried the top of the post open.

“In the wake of recent events . . . we urge EVERY correction officer to take a stand,” the text states. “On Friday . . . we ask staff to report to work but NOT take their assigned post. This is the time to stand up for what we know is RIGHT.”

Seabrook called such actions “reckless.”

“I would not advise jeopardizing the safety of any member of this organization,” he said.

Ponte said he was optimistic there would not be a job action.

“While we are all outraged over this attack, we remain optimistic that cooler heads will prevail,” he said

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