A Rikers Island inmate managed to escape custody while being treated at Bellevue Hospital on Monday, sparking concerns over security measures at the medical facility.

According to police sources, 27-year-old inmate John Smith was brought to Bellevue Hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening injury. While being treated, Smith allegedly managed to slip out of his restraints and flee the hospital.

This incident has raised questions about the level of security in place at Bellevue Hospital, which is one of the city’s largest trauma centers and regularly treats inmates from Rikers Island.

Here are some key points to know about the incident:

  1. Inmate John Smith had been in custody on Rikers Island for drug-related charges.
  2. He was at Bellevue Hospital for treatment of an injury sustained during a physical altercation with another inmate.
  3. Despite being handcuffed and guarded by correction officers, he managed to escape and has not been located since.
  4. Police have launched a citywide search for Smith, who is considered dangerous and should not be approached if spotted.
  5. This is not the first time that an inmate has escaped custody at Bellevue Hospital – a similar incident occurred in 2022, raising concerns about the security protocols in place.

It is estimated that approximately 1,000 inmates are brought to Bellevue Hospital each year for medical treatment. While strict security measures are supposed to be in place, this recent incident has highlighted potential weaknesses and gaps in the system.

In response to the escape, the Department of Correction has announced that they will be conducting a thorough review of their procedures and protocols when transferring inmates for medical treatment.

This incident also raises broader concerns about safety at Rikers Island and the need for reform within the criminal justice system. With overcrowding and reports of violence and abuse within the facility, it is clear that more needs to be done to ensure the safety of both inmates and staff.


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