Teen Gang Member Punished for Terrorizing Rikers Island Inmates, Guards


A teen who made headlines in 2015 when she led a gang assault at a McDonald’s is now causing terror of a different sort at New York City’s infamous Rikers Island prison.

Aniah Ferguson, 19, is reportedly being held under the tightest security conditions available at Rikers after several infractions where she became violent towards inmates and corrections officers, prosecutors revealed to the New York Daily News Wednesday.

Ferguson has been cited ten times since November for incidents that include attacking an inmate in front of a captain, hurling chairs into a common room, smearing butter on security cameras to hide her wrongdoing, and punching a jail captain, authorities said.

“Even in a secure location like Rikers, she is a threat to others,” prosecutor Janet Gleeson said.

Gleeson said Ferguson is forced to wear shackles on her wrists and ankles, as well as mittens over her hands every time she leaves her single-person cell.

“She has to have mittens because of how abusive and dangerous she is to staff and other people,” Gleeson said.

Ferguson, who suffers from mood and conduct disorder, violated the terms of her no-jail plea deal that allowed her to be committed to a Manhattan psychiatric facility in exchange for pleading guilty to gang assault charges in November 2015.

Gleeson told Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Dineen Riviezzo that she recommended Ferguson be sentenced to five years in prison.

Ferguson’s attorneys, on the other hand, recommended that she be sent to a juvenile detention facility.

“Most people can be saved, most children can be saved, but this is no child,” Gleeson responded. “This is a violent individual who is going to continue to be violent and never stop being violent. … I have no doubt Aniah Ferguson will be back in this building.”

Ferguson was charged with leading a vicious attack on 16-year-old Ariana Taylor in March 2015. The attack lasted for three minutes, was caught on video, and went viral on social media.