Two Rikers Island guards have been suspended after being caught on camera running in the opposite direction as one of their colleagues was attacked by an inmate.
Ricardo Reimers, 36, and Keith Phillip, 31, were suspended this week for not stepping in to help Awais Ghauri as he was thrown to the ground and punched by inmate Jason Reid on Thanksgiving Day.
Shocking surveillance footage of the attack and the two guards fleeing emerged last week as the Department of Corrections launched an investigation into it.
On Thursday, New York Daily News reported that both Reimers and Phillip had been suspended.
The New York City Department of Corrections is still investigating the footage and will not comment.
Rikers Island captains Ricardo Reimers (L) and Keith Phillip (R) have been suspended for abandoning their colleague as he was beaten by an inmate on Thanksgiving Day
The two captains have however been branded ‘cowards’ by the Correction Captains Association.
‘They ran from danger. There is no room for cowards in my rank. I’m not defending them,’ its president said.
The footage showed Reid suddenly pouncing on Ghauri, 31, as he walked ahead of Reimers and Philip through the dining hall on Thanksgiving Day.
He threw him to the ground and punched him several times in the face and head.
As the attack happened, Reimers turned and fled, running towards the door while trying to dodge other inmates.
Phillip was grabbed by another of the prisoners and they tussled before he too got to the door.
Ghauri is pictured in the forefront of this image in dark trousers. Reimers is behind him and Phillip is not in view. Reid is seen to the left of the men, seconds before launching his attack
A grainy still of the video shows Reimers in dark trousers turning and running as Reid pummels Ghauri on the ground
Ghauri (seen in dark trousers) was beaten by Reid, his main attacker, for 20 seconds but also took blows from two other inmates who joined in once he was already on the ground
The injured guard (above splayed on the ground with inmates circling him) was left bloody and with facial bruises
In the foreground, Reid continued to hit Ghauri for 20 seconds. Two other inmates also joined in and threw punches before Ghauri was able to break free.
He then got back on his feet and was marched in the opposite direction by other captains who had by this point arrived to assist.
Reid was serving time for robbery, trespassing and assault but now faces additional charges.
Ghauri has not commented on the footage or on his colleagues’ behavior.
Last week, the Department of Corrections said in a statement: ‘We will never tolerate the actions of those who harm our staff and we are working with the Bronx district attorney to arrest and prosecute any inmate involved in this incident.’
The attack took place at the Rikers Island jail complex (above) on November 24