Six Essex County corrections officers were charged on Tuesday with assault for their roles in three separate attacks on inmates at the county jail in Newark, according to a report in the Star-Ledger. Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino said the attacks were unprovoked and the officers did not use weapon in any of the incidents.
All six have all been charged with assault and two were accused with falsifying reports. All of the officers have since been suspended.
The first attack occurred in April when Officers William Rupp, 31, and Richard Amorosi 25, beat Kitrell Gadson, a 19 year-old Newark resident, accused of hitting a city woman while fleeing police in a stolen car last year. Gadson refused medical attention and his injuries were mostly cuts and bruises. Authorities said that Rupp and Amorosi altered a report to cover up the incident.
A few weeks later, Rupp and Amorosi, along with John Conway, 33, and Officers Mark Horst, 29, and Krzysztof Golas, attacked inmate James Kraft. His injuries were so serious that he had to be transported to University Hospital in Newark where he was hospitalized.
The third incident involved officers Conway and Dennis Phelps, 35, who allegedly attacked inmate Brian Guarino in September, and covered up the incident in a report. Guarino was also hospitalized after the attack.
The arrests are the second this year in which Essex County correction officers have been charged with a crime. In July, authorities discovered a smuggling operation, run by corrections officers including Rupp, that took and filled orders from inmates for drugs and cell phones.
More than a dozen individuals were arrested including the alleged ringleader, Officer Joseph Mastriani, Rupp and a Union County corrections officer.