RIKERS ISLAND – Two corrections officers were hurt capturing a Rikers Island inmate who escaped his cell and sparked a multi-agency manhunt on the island overnight.
Mike Bruji and Sean Toner, two members of the communications unit, were handing batteries to search teams early Thursday when they spotted 24-year-old Naquan Hill, who was reported missing Wednesday night, at a toxicology trailer located about 100 yards from Anna M. Kross Center where he was housed, a source with the Department of Corrections said.
A fight ensued between the three, but Hill was eventually apprehended, according to the DOC source. As Hill was being rearrested, he told them "you got lucky."
Both officers, who have less than four years on the job, sustained minor injuries from the fight and were briefly hospitalized at Elmhurst Hospital. The inmate was bleeding from cuts received from climbing over the barber wire, the DOC source said.
New York City Department of Correction Acting Commissioner Cynthia Brann thanked several agencies for their help in finding and capturing Hill.
“I would like to thank the men and women of DOC, the NYPD, the Port Authority Police and New York State Police for their time and effort in locating this individual," Brann said. "Their coordinated actions helped safely return this inmate to custody.”
Correction Officers' Benevolent Association president Elias Husamudeen praised Bruji and Toner in a statement.
Online records show Hill was convicted of burglary in 2012. Before his alleged escape, he was granted parole and scheduled to be conditionally released on September 3.
A spokesperson with department of corrections said the hours long lockdown at Rikers Island and its facilities was triggered after the inmate did not return from outdoor recreation around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The city's jail system has been plagued for years by a culture of violence and corruption.
A lawsuit filed by lawyers for inmates who were beaten by jail guards and joined by federal prosecutors who investigated brutality against 16- to 18-year-old inmates resulted in 2015 in a consent decree mandating the city implement a series of wide-ranging reforms.
PIX11's Dan Mannarino contributed to this story.