NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An inmate escaped from Rikers Island on Thursday, but was captured in the East River by two correction officers who jumped in after him.
Officials said it happened near the George R. Vierno Center in the back of the island, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported.
The Department of Correction said the inmate climbed a recreation yard fence and ran to the shoreline. He made it into the water, but two K9 officers jumped in behind him and took him back into custody.
The inmate has been identified by the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association as 37-year-old Arthur Brown, who was at Rikers awaiting trial on assault and bail jumping charges.
According to the union president, during recreation the inmate scaled the fence at around 12:30 p.m. and ran.
CBS2 has learned he went into the East River near Runway 37 at LaGuardia Airport. Officers then notified the Special Operations Division and K9 Unit and two K9 officers, Larry McCardle and Gregory Braska. COBA President Elias Husamudeen praised them during a news conference Thursday afternoon.
“They didn’t have to jump in the water. We have wires in that water. We have other things in the water, but despite their own safety these officers made it in, got in the water and was able to get this inmate apprehended and make sure he didn’t escape,” Husamudeen said. “We probably could use more rec officers because there are two officers assigned and there are more than 13-15 inmates. Basically, if one of them get a head start, they’re gonna scale that fence.”
Police said the two officers have minor injuries, and were taken to Mount Sinai Queens Hospital.
The inmate was taken to the infirmary at Rikers Island, but no injuries have been reported.
An investigation is underway into how he escaped.