Harry Maldonado escaped from custody at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan on Monday morning. The 55-year-old prisoner, donned in a disguise, fled the hospital four days after he was taken into custody on multiple charges.
According to reports, Harry Maldonado fled Bellevue Hospital’s prison ward on First Avenue near East 28 Street around 3:50 a.m. The Department of Correction reported the prisoner’s escape Monday morning. It was said that Maldonado was dressed in a hospital gown, a black hat, and black sunglasses when he fled, and it wasn’t clear how security neglected to notice his horrible disguise.
As of Monday afternoon, authorities are still investigating how Maldonado managed to evade detection and remained hidden from the various security measures at Bellevue’s prison ward. A full investigation is underway. It wasn’t clear if Maldonado escaped on his own or if he had help from within the prison ward.
The escaped inmate has been on the run since 3:50 a.m. and police have yet to return him to custody. The NYPD was notified of the prisoner’s escape around 7:00 a.m. and were asked to help find him. The search has been unsuccessful, reports claimed. It wasn’t made clear if Harry Maldonado poses a threat to the public while on the run.
Department of Corrections Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi said in a statement that “safely monitoring those in our custody is a core part of our mission and this is extremely disturbing. We take escapes and attempted escapes very seriously and we are investigating exactly how this happened.”
Schiraldi continued, saying that “teams from our Correction Intelligence Bureau are working with NYPD to bring this individual back into custody as quickly as possible.” According to police, Harry Maldonado was originally taken into custody on Thursday for attempted burglary, larceny, and parole violation charges.
Harry Maldonado was given parole in February 2015 after he served 16 years for attempted burglary in Manhattan. He was originally sentenced with 12-years-to-life. Reports claimed that records for that case listed him under the alias, Miguel Garcia.
According to records, Maldonado was also given parole in 1997 after he served seven years for burglary, as well as in 1988 after he served three years for attempted burglary.
Some considered Harry Maldonado’s escape the latest in a string of embarrassments for the Department of Corrections. Maldonado’s Bellevue Hospital getaway comes only two months after David Mordukhaev escaped from a jail barge in the Bronx.
The 30-year-old Mordukhaev was reported missing from his assigned housing area when officers checked a little after 4:15 a.m. on July 10. The inmate escaped from the Vernon C. Bain Center, nicknamed “The Boat.” The prisoner had been arrested last year on charges of impersonating a police officer and robbery.
David Mordukhaev had allegedly driven a black SUV while wearing a police shield around his neck and carrying a police radio. He was also said to have flashed a flashlight in his victim’s face before taking $340 and marijuana from their person. The incident occurred in April 2020 and he was arrested in August of that year.
On the day Mordukhaev escaped, the 800-bed correctional facility was placed on lockdown. Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Peter Thorne told reporters that “No escape from our facilities is ever acceptable and we are taking every step to locate and return this individual to custody”
He continued, saying that “a thorough investigation into how this occurred is underway to ensure that this does not happen again, and disciplinary action, if warranted, will be taken at the conclusion of the investigation.”
The inmate was located and taken back into custody on the same day he escaped. According to Vincent Schiraldi, “the individual who escaped this morning has been reapprehended.”
Mordukhaev was captured only 12 hours after a citywide manhunt. Referencing his escape, he explained to a judge that “if you watched the videos of what’s going on there, you’d escape yourself, your honor.”