NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two corrections captains are being accused of cowardice, after an inmate sucker-punched a colleague at Rikers Island.

Correction Captain Association President Patrick Ferraiuolo said the Thanksgiving Day attack on Captain Awais Ghauri was unprovoked.

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“Punched him in the side of the head knocking the captain down,” he said.

He told 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon that what happened next added insult to injury. A newly promoted captain who was close behind him did not jump in and help.

“He turned and ran away from the situation,” he said.

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So did another new captain who was close by. Ferraiuolo said they claim they were going to get help, but that’s not proper protocol.

“Saying that, ‘I’m running to get help,’ is quite frankly, ludicrous, OK because you are the help,” he said.

DOC spokesman Peter Thorne issued a statement saying, “The unprovoked assault of our Captain on Thanksgiving Day is deplorable, and every aspect of this incident is under investigation.”

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While the department investigates, the union is honoring Captain Ghauri, who was assaulted, saying he handled the situation with professionalism.