Correction officers in Bronx Central Booking beat up a prisoner so badly he suffered permanent hearing loss, a new Manhattan federal lawsuit alleges.
Ramfis Aquino pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree on Nov. 3, 2008. He was released from prison but collared again March 28, 2013, for allegedly violating parole.
At Bronx Central Booking, officers brought Aquino, 34, out of a holding cell for a strip search. After the search, Aquino looked around. An officer then “aggressively” asked “why he was looking at their badges.”
That officer and another then “punched, smacked, and/or otherwise struck Mr. Aquino in the head and back,” the suit charges.
Aquino felt a sharp pain in or near his ear, and a change in his hearing, but his repeated requests for medical help were ignored, the suit contends.
After he was brought to Rikers Island, he reported the injury and alleged attack but “over the next few days, Mr. Aquino’s left ear began discharging a foul-smelling pus.”
An audiologist found Aquino suffered hearing loss and prescribed hearing aids for both ears.
“Upon information and belief, these injuries are permanent,” the suit states.
Aquino is seeking unspecified damages.
Asked about the lawsuit, a Department of Correction spokesperson said the DOC has “zero tolerance for the mistreatment of any inmate and we take such allegations seriously.”