Friday, November 11, 1977

24 Young Inmates At Rikers Capture Van in Escape Try

Twenty-four teen-aged inmates of the Adolescent Reception and Detention Center on Rikers Island commandeered a prison van in an unsuccessful escape attempt from the island last night. Several guards were injured, including the van’s driver, who was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

A Correction Dept. spokesman said that the prisoners had overpowered the driver, attacked another guard and tried to speed across the narrow causeway linking the prison with the Queens mainland. The driver was “garroted” from behind by an inmate while the van was taking the inmates from a visitor’s area at the main building to separate quarters elsewhere on the island.

Excerpt from The New York Times 11/11/77

1 comment:

Officer in Charge said...

The inmates were being shuttled from one institution to another for commissary privileges at another facility due to overcrowding, they were not going to the main receiving building..
This was a temporary assignment that had been going on for approximately six weeks. The ring leaders of this escape attempt were on trial for multiple homicides and facing life sentences. Their stated intent was to throw the officer off the bridge upon leaving the Island.
The Officer (Thomas Moore) driving the bus ( now being driven by 2 inmates cuff together) after being attached fought with the inmates and eventually forced the bus to crash into the receiving building on the Riker's side of the bridge to Queens. Officer Moore sustained multiple injuries to his throat, neck and back requiring 8 months of rehabilitation before returning to work in July 1978.
After the crash officers working in the building attempted to shoot out the tires of the bus and then apprehended the 24 inmates.
There were several vehicles with accomplices parked on the Queens side of the bridge awaiting the escapes to facilitate their escape.
This was the first and only mass escape attempted at Riker’s Island.