Rikers captain fired after judge finds he had ‘something to hide’ in inmate death

Rikers captain fired after judge finds he had ‘something to hide’ in inmate death


The city Correction Department has quietly fired a captain after a judge found the guard tried to “hide” that he snuck gym shorts into an inmate’s cell during a lockdown at Rikers Island.

Correction Commissioner Louis Molina filed papers saying he’s accepted a city judge’s recommendation that Boswell Paul should be canned for both breaking protocols surrounding the fentanyl-overdose death in 2017 of detainee Selmin Feratovic, 27, and for using an illegal chokehold in a separate incident on another detainee.

On Oct. 17, 2017, Paul made a “peculiar” after-midnight run to a Rikers Island property room to grab a pair of white gym shorts belonging to Feratovic, and bring them to him, Salzman wrote in a 44-page opinion.

“Within a few hours, the inmate was dead from an overdose of drugs,” the judge added.

Selmin Feratovic
An autopsy determined Feratovic’s overdose was an accident.

Witnesses testified they believed drugs were hidden in his shorts, but Paul testified that he searched them and they were clean.

Feratovic was in Rikers facing theft charges because he couldn’t afford his $50,000 bail and had never been convicted of a crime.

An autopsy determined the overdose was an accident, and investigators could not determine whether Paul’s actions directly led to Feratovic’s death. But the judge said he believed the captain’s failure to file an incident report on an inmate who died and other “evasive” behavior warranted dismissal from his $116,056-a-year job.  

“I find that the true reason respondent did not file a report was that he had something to hide,” the judge wrote.

Paul could not immediately be reached for comment, but previously denied any wrongdoing.


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