Former convict Matthew Matagrano has been charged with impersonating a Department of Correction investigator for allegedly using a badge and identification card to enter Rikers Island jail in New York City.
Matagrano, 36, has been arrested and convicted of crimes in the past including sodomy and sexual abuse, according to the Associated Press. His motives for roaming the New York City correctional facility remain unclear, although investigators say he had access for at least a week.
Rikers guards only began to notice something was amiss when Matagrano successfully transported a prisoner from one cell to another. Still, they didn’t arrest him at that time.
Matagrano was last in the news in 2004 when he was arrested for impersonating a Department of Education official and looking through confidential student records at a school in Queens.
"He was able to go to the main security trailer on several different days, show his ID, and drive his car across the bridge," a correction source told the Village Voice. "He could have brought an arsenal onto the island. Anything could have been in the trunk of his car."
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Matagrano, a former resident of Yonkers, is listed at 5-foot-8 and 340 pounds and ranks among New York’s most dangerous sex offenders. Speaking with the Village Voice, correction officer’s union President Norman Seabrook laid the blame at the feet of Correction Commissioner Dora Schriro.
“This is another example of the incompetence we are dealing with from Dora Schriro,” Seabrook said. “If nothing else does, this sends a signal to the mayor of New York that there’s a major problem here. This is scary, we don’t know what he left behind in those jails, we don’t know what he brought in. A lot of it has to do with post cuts and shift reduction, and a commissioner of the agency who is not concerned with security. Someone is going to get seriously hurt.”