Police are on the hunt for a Riker’s Island inmate who escaped through a hospital window by rappelling down five floors with tied-up bedsheets before fleeing in a yellow taxi.
Yenchun Chen, who stands 6-feet, 3-inches and weighs 250 pounds, slipped Mount Sinai Beth Israel staff and Department of Correction officers by squeezing out a bathroom window while left unsupervised to shower around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, the New York Police Department said in a press release.
After shimmying down to a rooftop, Chen climbed a ladder down to the street below and hailed a yellow taxi cab, which sped him southbound down Manhattan’s Second Avenue, per the NYPD.
Surveillance images captured during the fugitive’s escape show he wore a plain white T-shirt and tan pants when he was last seen, and sported a small black goatee – he still appeared to be wearing his hospital bracelet. Distinctive sleeve tattoos mark his left arm and hand, police said, and he has black hair and brown eyes.
Chen, 44, was arrested at the 109th precinct in Queens July 31 for felony criminal possession of a controlled substance and jailed in lieu of a $50,000 bond, according to court records.
He was housed at Riker’s West Facility, per Department of Correction data, generally reserved for sick inmates, and had been hospitalized since last Friday due to a cardiac issue, the New York Post reported.
Around 9 p.m. Wednesday, a police search was underway near the hospital’s Petrie Division, where Chen was treated, near First Avenue and East 16th Street, the New York Daily News reported.
The Department of Correction and Chen’s public defender could not immediately be reached for comment.
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