Police Catch Prisoner Who Ran off in Handcuffs in Lower Manhattan

Police say they've captured the escaped prisoner who juked police while wearing handcuffs in lower Manhattan.

The prisoner, whose identity hasn't been released but is in his 20s, was apprehended at about 12:30 a.m. Friday, about five hours after he escaped police custody while wearing handcuffs near the Franklin Street subway station in TriBeCa.

Law enforcement sources have told NBC 4 New York the man was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting at a Gap and was being transported to a stationhouse in a police cruiser when he opened a door and ran to the subway station Thursday night.

No. 1 train service was suspended in both directions south of West 14th Street while police investigated, and No. 2 and 3 train service was temporarily suspended between Times Square and Wall Street.

It's not clear where police were able to round up the suspect. He was taken back to a police precinct for processing.

Thursday night's caper was the latest in a recent string of prisoners escaping NYPD custody. On Oct. 20, Gerald Brooks -- who had five warrants and 54 past arrests -- escaped custody in Brooklyn while he was handcuffed behind his back. 

He was captured and arrested Dec. 2.

In August, a woman who claimed to be pregnant fled in handcuffs from a hospital. The month before, a prisoner ran barefoot from his cell at a Manhattan police station, and another man escaped as officers were escorting him into a different police precinct. A man escaped in June when a handcuffed man shoved a police officer and took off, but he was caught about a month later. The other three suspects were caught within days of their escapes, police said.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said in October of the officers who saw Brooks escape: "They're an embarrassment to themselves, to the unit, to this department, and they're going to create a lot more work for this department as a result of their inefficiencies."

"If the cops were just paying attention to their responsibilities, a lot of this stuff would stop," Bratton said. "I'm very concerned when somebody with a pair of handcuffs, handcuffed behind them, can flee from three of my officers and they can't catch him. I'm sorry -- there's something wrong there when that's happening, repeatedly, over and over again."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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