An aerial view of the Nassau County Jail in East...

An aerial view of the Nassau County Jail in East Meadow. Credit: Kevin P Coughlin

A Hempstead man is facing a new felony charge after authorities say he punched a correction officer in the face last week at Nassau County’s jail while incarcerated and awaiting trial on a rape charge. 

Roger Bissoon, 40, pleaded not guilty to a second-degree assault charge during an arraignment Tuesday in Hempstead, according to court officials.

A detective alleged in a felony complaint that Bissoon hit the officer with a closed fist “without warning or provocation” in an inmate housing area. The officer had approached him to see if something was wrong after Bissoon stood up from a chair and walked awkwardly, the complaint said.

The officer suffered an injury to his left eye that required six stitches, according to the complaint. The punch knocked the officer to the ground and he also suffered a sprain to his right rotator cuff and substantial pain, the complaint alleged.

The alleged assault happened at about 10:50 a.m. on May 26 in the East Meadow correctional facility, court records show.

Correction Officer Daniel Holland identified himself as the victim of the alleged assault at a news conference that his union, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Correction Officers Benevolent Association, held Tuesday outside the Hempstead courthouse. Holland, a 20-year correction veteran, told reporters he was doing a routine patrol when the inmate “came out of nowhere” and punched him.

The officer said he thought he had lost an eye at the time  as he couldn’t see out of it.

Union president Brian Sullivan said in an interview later Tuesday that a few dozen correction officers went to court with Holland to demand that Bissoon “be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Sullivan added that Holland has yet to return to work and needs further medical testing.

Defense attorney Dana Grossblatt, who is Bissoon’s court-appointed lawyer in the rape case, said Tuesday she expected she also would be assigned to represent him on the new felony charge but had no details on it so far.

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