John Annese and Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News
It’s guards gone wild!
Cops have arrested an off-duty city correction officer for assaulting two co-workers during a bare-knuckle brawl outside a Queens club that was caught on video, officials said Thursday
Cortina Theodore, 32, was charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault late Wednesday as the Department of Correction investigates what sparked the fight outside of the Amadeus Night Club in Elmhurst on June 22.
Nearly two dozen officers could face discipline as the investigation continues. At least one officer involved in the fight was on medical leave at the time, after being attacked on Rikers Island by an inmate a few days earlier, sources said.
Theodore was attending a party at the club with her co-workers when a dispute spilled out into the street about 9 p.m., officials said. Most of the officers involved are assigned to Rikers Island and protect inmates there at the George R. Vierno Center.
A video of the fight acquired by the Daily News shows at least four women attacking a fifth in the street near the crosswalk. One women is on the ground being punched while another punches and curses at her.
“Get the f— off her bitch!” one woman is heard screaming in the 15-second clip. “You’re not here, ho!” another woman screams.
Most of the women in the video are glammed up in party dresses. One combatant is seen pulling down her skirt from her waist, which she had pulled up as she joined in the fray.
Police sources said Theodore is accused of punching two women, ages 25 and 26, in the face repeatedly during the catfight.
The older victim, identified as a correction officer, suffered a black eye and a bruised lip. The younger woman, who suffered a bruised face, identified herself as a “co-worker,” sources said.
“We are aware of this incident, we take these claims seriously, and this matter is under investigation,” Correction Department Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Peter Throne said in a statement.
Theodore’s two victims reported the assault the next day and identified Theodore as their attacker by name, sources said.
Theodore was charged late Wednesday after she was questioned at the 110th Precinct stationhouse. She was given a desk appearance ticket and will face the charges in Queens Criminal Court later this month.
No other arrests were made.
A source said word of the brawl has reached the top levels of the Correction Department.
“It’s an embarrassment,” the source said. “Everyone was going crazy that night.”
A second source said the Correction Department is having trouble tracking everyone down who was involved in the fight since the video of the incident is pretty unclear.
“They are trying to figure out who is in the video and what they did,” the source said.
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