A fugitive who escaped from a Manhattan courthouse after he was mistaken for a lawyer ended up back in police custody last night.
Ronald Tackman was arrested after cops spotted him coming off a bus in Washington Heights just before 9 p.m., police said. He was taken into custody without incident and will face additional charges of escape.
Tackman was brought to court from the Rikers Island jail Wednesday for an appearance on a string of robbery charges. He had been wearing a business suit when a court officer spotted him and mistook him for an attorney.
The alleged robber's escape brought to light serious breaches of protocol by a correction officer. Sources said that a guard took off Tackman's handcuffs and those of other inmates before they reached a holding cell or the courtroom, which isn't allowed. The guard who removed Tackman's cuffs has lost his sweet job at Rikers as a result.
A miffed Correction Commissioner Dori Schriro went to the courthouse after the escape and questioned everyone involved. She also increased the presence of corrections officers in courts across the city, reports The New York Post.
The 54-year-old Tackman had schemed unsuccessfully before to get out of custody during his lengthy criminal career, which dates back to 1978.
An after-hours call to Tackman's attorney Joseph Heinzmann was not immediately returned.