Escaped Prisoner Caught in Hamilton Heights: Police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An escaped prisoner was recaptured today in Hamilton Heights, but not before police shut down several subway lines. Witnesses describe seeing police converge on the suspect. Brynn Gingras reports.

    The necklace-snatching suspect who caused subway service to shut down for more than an hour when he escaped from police custody in Manhattan has been caught, police said. 

    The 18-year-old suspect was located at 135th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue as he was leaving the subway station there shortly before 3:30 p.m. Monday, according to police. 

    Witnesses told NBC 4 New York they saw the suspect, who was still in handcuffs, run down the street and hide under a car as police chased him. 

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    "Two cops were chasing him and he ran under the car," said one witness. "The cop showed his leg and put up his gun, told him to get on the ground. Cops came and arrested him, and they took him." 

    The suspect, identified as Vincens Vuktilaj, was shoeless and wearing only socks on his feet, witnesses said. 

    Vuktilaj was being led out of his apartment building on Saint Nicholas Avenue in Hamilton Heights Monday morning when he pushed an officer out of the way and ran toward the subway at 145th Street, police said. 

    The MTA suspended service on parts of the A, B, C and D lines as police and K-9 units searched the tunnels for Vuktilaj. Regular service on those lines resumed by about 1:15 p.m.

    Police said Vuktilaj had been arrested last week in connection with two chain-snatching attacks on women in their 60s.

    Law enforcement officials say police were arresting him Monday for an additional necklace robbery when he fled.

    It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney. 

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