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Press Release

Defendant Sentenced To 151 Months’ Imprisonment For Assaulting Correctional Counselor At The Metropolitan Detention Center

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Brutal Assault Caused Broken Nose, Broken Facial Bones, Gash Requiring Stitches, Slipped Discs; Victim Continues To Suffer Significant Ailments

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, Ronald Atkinson was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 151 months for his violent assault on a correctional counselor while incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York. The sentence will run consecutively to the 86 months’ incarceration remaining on Atkinson’s 2010 sentence for bank robbery. The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge Edward R. Korman, who also imposed a term of supervised release of three years.

The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the
Eastern District of New York; and George Venizelos, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office.

“When held to account for his criminal activity that spanned the country, the defendant sought to continue his crime spree within the walls of the correctional institution, with his unprovoked and vicious assault on a federal employee. Today, Atkinson received the significant prison sentence called for by his actions,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Today’s sentence represents a clear warning to all federal prison inmates that assaults on Bureau of Prisons’ staff will be met with the full force of the law.”

Atkinson was arrested by the FBI on June 17, 2009, on charges that he committed four bank robberies in Manhattan and two in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was ordered detained and incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center pending trial. On June 29, 2009, Atkinson committed a brutal and utterly unprovoked assault on a correctional counselor, punching him in the head multiple times until Atkinson was restrained. As a result of the assault, the correctional counselor suffered serious injuries, including a broken nose, broken bones under his right eye, broken bones in his right eye socket, a gash in his right cheek that required several stitches to close, two black eyes, a split lip, and two slipped discs in his neck, which continue to cause pain and numbness in the counselor’s arm and hand. The counselor also now suffers from migraines, vertigo, and post-traumatic stress disorder, none of which he suffered from prior to the assault.

As a result of all of these injuries, the counselor, an 18-year veteran of the Bureau of Prisons who had also worked at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan and the Federal Detention Center in Miami, Florida, was forced to take a medical retirement from his job with the Bureau of Prisons.

Ms. Lynch thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Prisons for their assistance in this case.

The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Douglas M. Pravda.

The Defendant:

Age: 40

Updated July 2, 2015