Twice in the same week, Rikers Island ‘mistakenly’ releases violent criminal in Mayor de Blasio’s New York City

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BRONX, NY- A man accused of attempted murder is back on Rikers Island after he was mistakenly released on Monday, March 15th, due to a clerical error. This was the second time in the span of a week that the mix-up helped free a violent criminal.

According to the New York Post, 22-year-old Nikim Meekins has been charged with attempted murder and was returned to Rikers Island at midnight with his attorney, Lucian Chalfen. The suspect was arrested on March 10th on a pair of felony charges connected to a shooting that took place during summer 2020.

Court records show that he was held on a $300,000 bail for the alleged crimes. A court spokesperson said that Meekins appeared in a Bronx courtroom on Monday, March 15th where his bail was reduced to $1 and a pending indictment on an attempted murder charge.

The court spokesperson said that Meekins was also in jail on a weapons-related charge, for which the judge set the bail at $1. However, the judge reportedly kept the bail for the attempted murder charge at $300,000. 

In court paperwork, a law clerk marked the new bail for that gun charge, but mistakenly put that Meekins be released on his own recognizance for the attempted murder charge. Those order were then related to the Department of Correction and Meekins was subsequently released. The spokesperson said:

“The clerk annotated the paperwork as $1 bail on the gun case correctly, but mistakenly indicated ROR on the attempted murder case.”

Reportedly, the judge issued a bench warrant for Meekins after being told of the error. Peter Thorne, a spokesperson for the city Department of Correction, said in a statement:

“Based on the documentation provided by the courts, the release from custody was proper and in accordance with our policy.”

The court spokesperson acknowledged that it was a “serious mistake” and said it would be addressed “from a personnel and training perspective.” This is the second embarrassment for the city’s criminal justice system in a week’s time. 

On March 8th, Christopher Buggs was “inadvertently released” due to a similar clerical mixup. 26-year-old Buggs was awaiting trial in a 2018 Brooklyn murder. The New York Post reported that Buggs, who told a judge to “suck my (expletive)” in February, which according to court records is what got him out of jail free. 

During his February 16th court appearance, Buggs went ballistic when Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Vincent Del Guidice refused to grant his bail applihttps://twitter.com/lise_latulippe/status/1372892631387287562cation. Via a video from Rikers Island, Buggs can be heard saying:

“Suck my (expletive), you (expletive). I don’t give a (expletive) about no contempt, (expletive). Suck my (expletive).”

The judge issued two 30-day contempt of court orders for Buggs, who was already facing a charge of intentional murder and two counts of criminal possession of a loaded gun. Authorities said that a judge sentenced Buggs to time served on the criminal contempt case. 

Someone reportedly saw that and released Buggs, not realizing that he should have still been held on the murder charge. According to authorities, Buggs was dropped off at the Samuel L. Perry Center, which is at the end of Rikers Island, but still on the jail side.

An NYPD spokesperson confirmed to Fox News that Buggs remains on the loose after nine days, stating that there are no updates on the case and it “an investigation is ongoing.”

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As California continues to release criminals, sheriff’s deputy barely survives brutal attack by multiple inmates

February 16th, 2021

VISTA, CA – The San Diego Sheriff’s Department revealed that one of their deputies was the victim of a brutal attack at the hands of jail inmates in February, with the deputy having suffered numerous injuries due to strikes to the head and body.

Thankfully, the deputy survived the ordeal – but the swelling and contusions the deputy suffered help illustrate the dangers associated with working inside of jails.

The incident was said to have happened at approximately 2:00 p.m. on February 13th while Deputy Michael Cascioppo was escorting a nurse through the Vista Detention Facility while the nurse was making her respective rounds.

In the release provided by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Cascioppo was essentially lured to a particular cell by an inmate under false pretenses in order for the attack to be launched:

“When Deputy Cascioppo and the nurse were walking by a particular cell, one of the two inmates inside got the attention of the deputy. The inmate asked if the deputy could pass a food tray to the inmates in the cell next door.”

Once Deputy Cascioppo opened the cell door in question, reportedly two inmates inside of the cell rushed out and began attacking the deputy.

The two inmates were said to have thrown several punches and kicks to the deputy’s head and torso – and even dragged the deputy into the cell to continue the attack.

Deputy Cascioppo was said to have tried to defend himself, but the attack wasn’t stopped until additional deputies arrived to assist with the situation. Surprisingly, Deputy Cascioppo was able to walk out of the cell himself.

Deputy Cascioppo at hospital
Deputy Cascioppo’s injuries while he was at the hospital – San Diego Sheriff’s Department

He was later treated at a nearby hospital and was released later in the evening on the day of the attack.

The sheriff’s department noted that despite Deputy Cascioppo having been the victim of said attack, he apparently expressed concerns after his hospital relief to ensure that the nurse wasn’t hurt during the incident:

“He wanted to make certain the nurse had not been injured. The nurse was able to flee and was not assaulted.”

Detectives with the Sheriff’s Detentions Investigation Unit are said to be investigating the incident, but authorities have not released the identities of the two inmates who are believed to be the attackers.

This is a developing story.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather further information as the investigation progresses.

In other matters related to inmates behaving badly, a jail in Missouri wound up hosting a riot enacted by inmates among one of the housing units. 

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Images of busted windows and fires set the stage during the incident from earlier in February – which we at Law Enforcement Today recently reported on. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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ST. LOUIS, MO — On Saturday February 6th, inmates at the City Justice Center in downtown St. Louis started a riot, lighting fires and smashing windows around 2:30 a.m. 

The chaos, which involved inmates on the fourth floor, allegedly began following an altercation between an inmate and a guard. The guard was then jumped by other inmates, authorities reported. 

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, law enforcement officers used tear gas to regain control and a spokesman for the mayor said all the inmates were “back in custody” shortly before 10 a.m.

The director of the city’s Department of Public Safety, Jimmie Edwards, told reporters that the corrections officer involved in the initial incident was injured and taken to the hospital, but is believed to be doing well.

No inmates were injured in the event, and thankfully no other officers were injured either. 

According to Edwards, the inmates were able to get out of their cells due to an issue with the locks in the facility. Edwards claims he has been working on fixing this issue since December. 

Jacob Long, a spokesman for Mayor Lyda Krewson said that following the initial altercation between the officer and the inmate, it is reported that about 115 detainees on the fourth floor of the jail set fires, flooded floors and clogged toilets.

Long went on to say that after authorities regained control of the situation, about 65 inmates were to be transferred to the Medium Security Institution, also known as the Workhouse.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that inmates were seen gathered at the shattered windows of an upper floor of the jail around 6:30 a.m. They broke adjacent windows and threw chairs and other debris to the sidewalk below on Tucker Boulevard.

Pictures and video show flames just inside the windows, as inmates lit things on fire and threw them to the sidewalk below. Firefighters and emergency vehicles responded quickly, and were on scene shortly before 7 a.m. Long stated that by 10 a.m., cleanup and repair work had begun.

Dozens of people gathered to watch from the other side of Tucker and at least one live video of the disturbance was posted to Facebook. Allegedly family members of the inmates were among the bystanders, cheering on their loved ones. 

Long had called the situation a “very dangerous disturbance” and said Krewson and Edwards were at the scene.

The jail houses approximately 633 inmates, however the uprising only involved the fourth floor.

Edwards stated that there are four units on each floor. On the fourth floor, only one unit will be used for the time being. The others will be usable again in three to four weeks.

This was not the first, or even the second uprising to take place at the jail in recent months.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that it was at least the third disturbance at the CJC in recent weeks. Another occurred the last week of December and a second just days later. In those cases inmates had expressed concern about unsafe conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, there are no known cases of COVID-19 among the inmates.

On Saturday, Edwards said he did not know what prompted the latest incident, saying:

“This time, no reason was given,”

However, social media is reporting that the riot began due to the “inhumane conditions” the prisoners are living in.

Dozens of inmates were transferred to the St. Louis Medium Security Institution following those earlier disruptions.

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