Yesterday, the NYPD alert the public about a prisoner who escaped police custody while at a downtown Manhattan hospital. It was the fourth escaped prisoner incident in NYC since June 24th—and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is not happy. He told reporters, "I will not tolerate as police commissioner these continued lapses in what should be basic policing." UPDATE: The prisoner has been re-captured. [See update below]
On Saturday, August 28, Tiffany Neumann, 23, was arrested on the Upper West Side for allegedly skipping out on a bill at the Hi-Life Bar and Grill and then trying to shoplift from clothing store Purdy Girl on the Upper West Side. She apparently told the police that she was pregnant and had an arm injury and was taken to New York Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital on Gold Street.
According to WCBS 2, "That was when one of the arresting officers took her to the hospital, where, police said, nurses put Neumann in an exam room in a gown and handcuffs. After a doctor left the exam room, Neumann somehow slipped off the handcuffs, took off her gown, put on nurses scrubs and walked out of the hospital without anyone noticing, investigators said. The police officer who was supposed to be guarding Neumann had walked away to use the restroom, police Commissioner Bill Bratton said."
The officer, Zackary Bloomfield-Wint, who is a rookie, was suspended. NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill said, "There is no excuse for it, it is embarrassing. She is not a mastermind criminal. It is totally due to inattentiveness and carelessness. A police officer was suspended last night."
A sales associate at Purdy Girl told the Post, "[Neumann] was looking and browsing through the shirts, and one of the waitresses came over and told us that she might be stealing. My coworker had stopped her mid-steal, and she had stuffed shirts under her dress, and as soon as the coworker tried to get them, she said, ‘I’m pregnant and my stomach hurts.’"
“And then we called the police, and she resisted arrest. She said she was in the Mexican mafia and at one point, she actually hit an officer and they had to switch her to a different cop car. She was screaming ‘police brutality’ and saying they were trying to rip off her arms.”
Venet added that Neumann had anchored both of her feet to the side of the police car as officers attempted to get her inside.
Neumann has been arrested in Los Angeles and NYC; the Post adds, "Her most recent run-in with the law came Aug. 21, when she was slapped with a weapons charges after she pulled knife on a friend during a dispute, police said."
"She was supposed to go back to L.A. sometime this week," Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. "Of course, we will make sure that doesn’t happen, and we apprehend her before that."
UPDATE: Police say that Neumann was apprehended this morning at 8:45 a.m. in the 24th Precinct, which covers the Upper West Side. WCBS 2 says she was at a relative's house. Charges are pending.