Four inmates at the Brookwood Secure Facility face assault charges for allegedly attacking a staff member on Friday at the facility for youth, one of four such facilities in the state under investigation for regular attacks on staff.
The attack occurred on Friday night during movie time when Luis Camacho, a youth division aide officer, was attacked from behind, knocked to the ground and repeatedly pummeled with chairs, a garbage can and a telephone, causing multiple injuries, according to State Police in Livingston.
Arraigned Saturday on charges of second-degree assault, a felony, were Darryl Craig, 17, of Brooklyn; Ethan E. Cave, 17, of Long Island; Jared Ojeda, 17, of South Jamaica; and Maxwell Rodriguez, 18, of Manhattan. All were sent to Columbia County Jail without bail and were slated to appear Tuesday in Claverack Town Court. Camacho suffered an injured arm, contusions, abrasions and severe swelling to the head. He was taken to the hospital and later released, troopers said.
Brookwood, at 419 County Route 29, has an inmate capacity of 155 and houses juvenile offenders ages 14 to 21 who, while under the age of 16, committed violent felonies, including murder, rape and armed robbery, and were convicted and sentenced in adult criminal court, according to the facility’s website.
Four such facilities, Brookwood and Goshen in the Hudson Valley, Industry in the Rochester area and MacCormick in the Southern Tier, were under investigation by the state Inspector General’s office. Security videos surfaced from a whistleblower in March 2011 that show inmates assaulting each other and staff.
Eileen Carpenter, who retired from the state Commission of Correction, gathered the videos in 2009-10 while she was responsible for oversight of the four secure centers. Carpenter said permissive policies made the centers more dangerous, according to The Associated Press.
The videos show a staff member and a resident punched and knocked out in separate assaults; two youths attacking a staff member; groups attacking individual youths; and other incidents in which large groups refused to comply with orders, in one case smashing furniture. In most, juveniles grappled with staff members and eventually were subdued.
Officials at Brookwood did not immediately return calls for comment.