NYC inmate who escaped hospital is captured while sleeping on friend’s couch: report
A prisoner who used a rope made of bedsheets to escape from the fifth floor of a New York City hospital has been rearrested after a month on the lam, police said Wednesday.
Yenchun Chen, 44, was apprehended Tuesday in Queens after escaping from Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan on August 9, a police spokesperson said.
Chen had been in custody on a drug charge since July 31, when he was brought to the hospital on August 4 after complaining of chest pains, authorities said.
The escaped convict initially used a rope made of sheets to escape from a fifth-floor window five days later after asking to take a shower, police said.
He rappelled to a rooftop below and, from there, reached the street, where he got into a taxi.
He then hid in an apartment building on 45th Avenue in Queens, where law enforcement eventually found him more than a month later. Chen was said to be asleep on a friend’s sofa inside the apartment when police barged in and took him into custody.
Chen was taken into custody Tuesday by U.S. Marshals and officers from the city’s Department of Correction intelligence bureau, a correction department spokesperson said. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital for a medical evaluation and rearrested on escape charges.
A message seeking comment was sent to the attorney with New York County Defender Services, who represented the man in the drug case.
The two correctional officers guarding Chen when he escaped were suspended for 30 days without pay.