Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim announced Wednesday a former Rikers Island correction officer was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the beating death of Ronald Spear, a Rikers Island pre-trial detainee.
Forty-seven-year-old Brian Coll of Smithtown, New York repeatedly kicked Spear, while he was retrained on the floor in the prone position – flat with check on the floor and back up. Spear was pronounced deceased shortly after the attack. Coll has been in federal custody since his arrest on June 10, 2015.
Several other correction officers, Byron Taylor and Anthony Torres, restrained Spear on the floor, while Coll kicked him in the head repeatedly. On December 19, 2012, Spear was on his way to see a physician, when Coll approached him and said the doctor was not available to see him. A verbal altercation ensued and Coll began punching Spear in his stomach and face, as Torres and Taylor restrained him. Spear attempted to protect his head, as he yelled for Coll to stop.
According to court documents, When Coll finally stopped kicking Spear, he lifted his head, told him to remember who had done this to him and dropped his head to the ground. Shortly after the attack, Spear was pronounced deceased.
An autopsy revealed that Spear had about three recent contusions on his skull and his death was due to a “brain bleed” related to blunt force trauma, which caused him to suffer a cardiac arrhythmia.
Torres, Taylor and Coll concocted false stories in an attempt to cover up the real cause of Spear’s death. They all agreed that Spear was the aggressor and had attacked Coll with a cane, which was never found.