A manhunt is underway in New York City after a prisoner escaped police custody and fled a downtown Manhattan hospital — still wearing his leg shackles but no shirt.
Daniel Ortiz, 31, was at the Lenox Hill Health Plex Hospital in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village when he broke away and ran into the city, reportedly fleeing into the subway. At the time he was wearing a dark peacoat (but no shirt), jeans, brown boots, and shackles on his leg. He is 5’6” and 130 pounds with brown eyes and brown curly hair.
Ortiz had been arrested for shoplifting at Macy’s, and brought to the hospital for medical evaluation after police took note of injuries he had sustained in an earlier stabbing. He was being held in a room that was supposed be guarded by a police officer, but escaped while the officer was on his cellphone in the hallway. The officer has since been suspended.
“You’ve gotta wonder was anyone paying attention at all? Because if he was escorted by policemen, it’s kind of nuts he would be able to flee from the hospital room,” Greenwich Village resident Emma Fuchsberg told CBS.
As of Friday afternoon, he has been on the loose for almost a full day with no reported sightings. Police say he walks with a noticeable limp, but did not specify the condition that caused it. They also said he may be bleeding from his hand.
This is the third time within a year that a suspect has escaped NYPD custody. It is unclear if Ortiz has a criminal record beyond his larceny arrest this week.