A manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies came to an end after a man who escaped from a high-security detention center on Rikers Island has been found, law enforcement sources told News 4 New York.
Port Authority Police Dept. officers canvassed near LaGuardia Airport as they searched for the inmate, according to the sources. The NYPD Harbor Unit searched the waters around the island.
All traffic on Rikers Island was suspended amid the lockdown. Police vehicles, many with their lights flashing, were seen coming to and from the island after nightfall.
Dept. of Correction spokesman Peter Thorne said the inmate did not return from the outdoor recreation area Wednesday evening.
The law enforcement sources added that he jumped over a fence at the C-95 jail, also known as AMKC, which houses about 3,000 inmates.
Staff noted the disappearance around 7:30 p.m. when the headcount of inmates was off by one.
The 24-year-old inmate was wearing an orange jumpsuit, the sources said.
Thorne said the Dept. of Correction was working with the NYPD as an investigation into the escape and the search for the inmate continued.
"Rikers Island facilities have been placed on lockdown and we are talking to anyone who may be involved," Thorne said at the time of the search.
Some civilians who were coming out of the facility said they had no idea what was going on. Some of them were stuck on buses, confused about what was happening and why they weren't allowed off.
"They did not report any information to you at all," one woman said. "People were looking on their phones and something popped up at 9 o'clock. We were on the bus since 7:15."
Another woman said people started fighting and kicking doors open on the bus. "People were fainting. It was crazy," she said.
The city's jail system has been plagued for years by a culture of violence and corruption.
A lawsuit filed by lawyers for inmates who were beaten by jail guards and joined by federal prosecutors who investigated brutality against 16- to 18-year-old inmates resulted in 2015 in a consent decree mandating the city implement a series of wide-ranging reforms.