Rikers Island Prisoner Attacked Inmate for Disturbing His Sleep

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NYC Prison Barge in the East River Bronx New York across from Rivers Island Penitentiary ** Note: Slight graininess, best at smaller sizes

BRONX, NY – A former Rikers Island inmate has been indicted on attempted murder charges after beating another prisoner simply for waking him up while he was sleeping.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said, “The defendant allegedly brutally attacked another inmate, allegedly because the victim disturbed his sleep. Those being held at the jail should not be subject to violence and we will hold anyone who inflicts harm accountable.”

District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Eric McKenzie AKA Eric Belmar, 56, of Brooklyn, NY, was arraigned Wednesday on Attempted Murder in the second-degree, first-degree Assault and two counts of second-degree Assault before Bronx Supreme Court Justice George Villegas. Bail was set in the amount of $100,000 cash, bond, or partially secured bond.

Clark is due back in court on June 29, 2022. According to the investigation, on December 13, 2021 at approximately 4:40 p.m., the defendant allegedly became upset with inmate Jose Matias because he was being too loud while McKenzie was trying to sleep.

“McKenzie allegedly chased Matias and threw him to the floor, stomped on his neck and head, and kicked and punched him in the head,” Clark said. “Matias was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where he was put in a medically induced coma. He was transferred to NYC Health + Hospitals Bellevue and remained at the facility until February 16, 2022. Matias sustained traumatic brain injury and suffers from seizures and brain damage. He was left unable to speak or walk and needed extensive physical rehabilitation.”