18 correction officers were hurt Sunday breaking up a fight between teenagers at a Bronx teenage detention facility, according to the officers' union, the second melee at the center this week that has led to more than a dozen officers getting hurt.
The union, the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association, said 16 officers and two captains were transported to a local hospital after intervening in a fight this afternoon between 13 inmates in a mess hall at the Horizon Juvenile Center on Brook Avenue in Mott Haven.
Sources said one officer may have suffered a broken nose after a teen allegedly hit him in the nose with a walkie-talkie.
The union said the teenagers were housed in a unit called TRU, which is for what it called "problematic inmates."
A spokesperson for the Administration for Children's Services, the agency that runs the facility, said in a statement that none of the injuries were serious, and that the incident was quickly addressed.
The brawl comes after the union said 21 correction officers were hurt breaking up a fight at the juvenile detention center Wednesday. The union said an officer was also hurt by his walkie-talkie that day too, when a teenage inmate grabbed it and hit the officer in the head. None of the injuries Wednesday were considered life-threatening.
Two days before that fight, emergency crews responded to a call that four officers were hurt in a fight with some teen inmates, although paramedics left without any patients.
A little over a week ago, teenage inmates were transferred from Rikers Island to the center. All Rikers Island inmates who were under the age of 18 had to be transferred by Monday to the Horizon facility as part of a new policy under the "Raise the Age" law, which means people under 18 will no longer be prosecuted as adults in New York state. As a result, the city was required to transfer more than 90 inmates from the Rikers jail to the Horizon facility by that deadline.
The correction officers' union has railed against that move, particularly the mandate that its officers cannot use pepper spray at the facility.
"How many Correction Officers have to have their noses broken until the Governor and the Mayor wake up and shut down this facility? This population of inmates at Horizon is the same population at Rikers who are responsible for the majority of the violence throughout the department. Why would we expect them to behave any differently now?" Elias Husamudeen, the president of the union, said in a statement after the fight Sunday. "We cannot and will not allow Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo to ignore this crisis and to make the attacks on our members the new normal."
Husamudeen had previously said the melees show that the Horizon facility is not ready to house teenager inmates. The union said they are violent, and said it fears the teens will kill an officer one day.
Some advocates, however, have said that the officers are violent.
The correction officers' union has for months slammed the mayor, saying he is not taking the dangers the officers face from inmates seriously.
Correction officers asked a state judge this week to stop the city from forcing them work at Horizon and are waiting on that decision.
De Blasio said Wednesday that centers like the Horizon facility would be beneficial for young detainees in the long run, but added that those who act violently will face consequences.