Friday, March 7, 2008

Rikers CO Facing Serious Charges (Again)

Ricard Walters (YouTube)
It appears that when I discussed a Rikers Correctional Officer named Ricardo Walters and his alleged robbery at gunpoint (allegedly his service weapon, mind you) of a middle-aged woman at a bus stop in Hempstead, New York, it was only a small picture of the overall story. It was reported today that Walters is now the suspect in a number of rapes around his hometown of Hempstead, New York. In addition to two rape charges, Walters has been charged with six counts of kidnapping, five counts of robbery, and four counts of sex abuse, among other charges.

I remember that when I posted about Walters' first arrest and brought up his previous incident in which he killed a man who was stealing a CD player from his car, I was rebutted by a commenter who said that I was judging Walters and that I did not know him. I was told that he was a church-going family man. This all could be true, but these new allegations, especially coming after his alleged robbery of the woman at the bus stop last September, are going to be hard to defend. Various news outlets are reporting that they have DNA evidence that links Walters to some rapes and they fear that he may have committed more. In the words of Nassau PD detective Anthony Repalone, "The bottom line is: This guy, he's a predator." Plus, DNA evidence tends to be pretty solid in court.

In one incident, Walters is alleged to have ambushed a woman after she loaded her 3 year old into her car and was putting her groceries away. He allegedly put a gun to the child's head and forced the mother to perform sex acts on him. How does someone who does this maintain a job at Rikers Island for 11 years? I certainly hope Walters never took advantage of any inmates at Rikers, which has been known to happen before. A look at any complaints against Walters by inmates or staff should be revisited, as it appears that Walters may not be an upstanding citizen. What should also be revisited is the shooting back in April of 2006 in which he killed someone allegedly breaking into cars in his Hempstead neighborhood. If this man is capable of doing what prosecutors charge he did, then another look should be taken at this case. It could be he was well within his rights when he shot and killed the guy that he did, but given these circumstances a closer look is certainly garnered.

Sign at Rikers Island, where Walters used to work
 (peterkreder's Flickr)
As if this case could not get more disgusting, Newsday is reporting that police are looking into the possibility that Walters targeted Latina women under the assumption that they may be undocumented immigrants in this country and thus less likely to report any kind of assault. This possibility has arisen because, as the article explains, all but one of his known alleged victims were Latina and most were undocumented.

As I said before, all of this is mounting against Walters as his innocence looks slimmer and slimmer. Barring a massive conspiracy against him by multiple women who probably do not know each other, then I would say that DNA evidence is pretty damning. One of the Newsday articles said that he was already in jail awaiting trial for the robbery charge. These are going to be tough charges to defend oneself against (again, DNA evidence). It will be interesting to see whether he pleads out or not (if the DA is even willing to offer him anything).


  1. What happened to the law of the land? I believe it states that a person is innocent until proven guilty and not guilty before his/her day in court. I don't understand why there is so many people are acting ignorant and illiterate even going as far as to making statements that all of his female family members should be raped. There are many people in prison that are innocent and many have been released after serving many years and are innocent. We should not comment until we have all of the facts. Many are showing signs of mentally challenged people. WAKE UP and act like you have common sense.

  2. Sis Cuchy:

    I have no idea what you are talking about when you refer to people making statements that Walters' female family members should be raped. You may have seen that somewhere else, but there is no comment on here that I have seen that suggests that. There are a lot of morons on the internet.

    In respect to the illiterate and ignorant comment, again I do not know what you are talking about. I read over my post and found one typo and no grammatical errors (something I cannot say for you: "I don't understand why there is so many people are acting ignorant..."). Additionally, I do not explicitly say that Walters did any of this, I say it is alleged and he is being charged with crimes; both factual statements.

    In terms of the presumption of innocence: it is a great ideal, but something we are nowhere near achieving in the American justice system. Obviously this does not excuse assuming people are guilty before trial, but it seems that some of the only times I see people crying "innocent until proven guilty" is when some type of politician/law enforcement/someone of power is charged with something. I agree that there are many people behind bars who are innocent and DNA evidence is proving their innocence. In this case, the same DNA technology may play a part in proving Walters' guilt.

    I don't really know what your angle is. I guess my only suggestion to you would be to wake up and act like you have some common sense before insinuating that I am ignorant and illiterate.