A group of Rikers Island prisoners who claim they were poisoned by their guards have some significant evidence, their lawyers say: the meatloaf they were served reportedly tested positive for Brodifacoum—commonly known as rat poison.

The evidence is less-than-ironclad (the meatloaf samples were provided by the prisoners and the prison hospital never tested the prisoners’ blood or urine) but lawyers say the guards may have been motivated by the attempted rape of a guard the week before. Via the New York Post:

The 19 prisoners allege​ in a Brooklyn federal lawsuit​ that they fell violently ill after being served meals in their housing unit on March 3 during a three-day lockdown stemming from the attempted sex attack, court papers state.

“Some of the inmates kept the food as evidence,” their lawyer, Joann Squillace, told The Post Monday. “I personally saw what looked like blue pellets — especially in the meatloaf.”

The attorney said medical staff told the prisoners they ate rat poison.

Squillace said that a prisoner is usually assigned to assist Rikers staff in preparing and distributing meals — but that inmate claims he was suspiciously barred from taking part in the process that day.

The prisoners filed suit Monday seeking an emergency court order; a hearing is reportedly scheduled for Thursday.

[image via AP]


Contact the author of this post at gabrielle@gawker.com