Former Rikers Guard Says Supervisor Ordered Him To Let Mentally Ill Man Die

December 11, 2014 | Rhett Jones

An ex-Rikers corrections officer says that his boss repeatedly encouraged disciplining inmates off-the-books, and when one mentally ill inmate ingested a detergent ball that contained bleach, the supervisor let the man die a slow and painful death.

Raymond Castro testified in court that his former supervisor at Rikers Island, Capt. Terrence Pendergrass, would routinely endorsed keeping inmate infractions out of official documentation so they could be punished un-officially. According to the New York Post Castro recalled Pendergrass saying, “There’s other ways of getting back at inmates than (reporting) an infraction.”

According to Castro’s testimony, that callous approach turned deadly when Rikers inmate, Jason Echevarria, ate a ball of detergent and began vomiting. According to the former officer:

I told Capt. Pendergrass that the inmate in cell four claimed he ingested a soap ball that contained bleach. I see vomit on his window, floor and toilet.

When Castro attempted to call paramedics, Pendergrass allegedly told him to put down the phone and “Don’t write anything down in the book.”

Echevarria slowly died and Pendergrass now faces up to 10 years in prison for denying the inmate medical care.

(Photo: Reivax)