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NYPD searching subway tunnel for escaped suspect


Thursday, December 17, 2015, 9:20 PM

Poiice at the scene at the Franklin Street and West Broadway station where a male prisoner escaped Thursday evening.Sam Costanza/for New York Daily News

Poiice at the scene at the Franklin Street and West Broadway station where a male prisoner escaped Thursday evening.

A handcuffed shoplifting suspect jumped out of a marked police cruiser in Tribeca and fled into a subway tunnel, sparking an NYPD dragnet Thursday night, police sources said.

He’s the seventh prisoner to escape from police custody since June.

According to sources, the fleet-footed crook was caught shoplifting jeans at a Gap store on Broadway near Maiden Lane. He was being taken to the 1st Precinct’s stationhouse when he got out of the cruiser and bolted at about 7:45 p.m., at West Broadway and Franklin St.

From there, he jetted toward Varick and Franklin Sts., running to the downtown 1 train stop. He ran down a catwalk and into the tunnel, sources said.

The NYPD sent in K-9 units, bloodhounds and members of the Emergency Services Unit to track the man. Cops expanded the manhunt to include the South Ferry and Brooklyn Bridge area at 8:15 p.m.

The MTA has shut down subway service on the 2 and 3 lines from 14th St. in Manhattan to Nevins St. in Brooklyn, and is holding 1 trains at the station, MTA spokeswoman Marisa Baldeo said.

Police were circulating a photo of the suspect, that was snapped by a Gap security camera.

The suspect is described as Hispanic, in his 20s and about 5-feet-7. He’s wearing a black leather jacket and blue jeans with holes in them.

In October, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton railed against three officers who let escapee No. 5, 39-year-old Gerald Brooks, run off after he was apprehended on Scheffield Ave. in East New York.

“They’re an embarrassment to themselves, to the unit, to their department and they’re going to create a lot more work for this department as a result of their inefficiencies,” a furious Bratton said. “I’m getting tired of it. The fact that they are experienced professionals who let it happen … sorry, I’m not going to tolerate it. I want to make that perfectly clear.”


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