The 37-year-old inmate, who was in custody for an assault charge, was immediately caught, sources told ABC News.
The "detainee climbed a recreation yard fence and ran to the shoreline. An investigation is ongoing," according to a spokesperson from the city's Department of Correction.
K-9 Correction Officers Larry McCardle and Gregory Braska "immediately jumped into action to bring the inmate back into custody without any regards for their own safety," Elias Husamudeen, the president of the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association, said in a statement.
The last time an inmate escaped Rikers Island was in July 2017 when a robbery suspect jumped a fence and was found by Department of Correction employees, ABC News station WABC reported.
Rikers Island is one of the largest correctional facilities in the country. This year the city jail recorded its lowest population since the 1940s after releasing hundreds of inmates in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.