Cops searching for fugitive who escaped custody at Brookdale Hospital

police cars and officers outside brookdale university hospital
Police investigate an escaped suspect at Brookdale University Hospital on Jan 12.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

The New York City Police Department is searching for a fugitive who escaped from their custody at Brookdale University Hospital in Brownsville this morning.

pictures of fugitive at brookdale hospital
Police say 21-year-old Akeem Williams escaped from police custody while being treated for chest pain at Brookdale University Hospital. NYPD/Crimestoppers

Officers arrested 21-year-old Akeem Williams for robbery at about 8:30 am on Jan. 12. Williams complained of chest pains and was taken to Brookdale’s emergency room for treatment, according to the NYPD’s public information office.

While waiting in the ER, Williams, whose arms were handcuffed behind his back, was able to get his arms in front of his body, remove his shirt and sneakers, and run outside with what appear to be electrocardiogram leads still stuck to his chest and abdomen. 

Police searched the surrounding neighborhoods before expanding to the rest of Brownsville and neighboring East Flatbush without success. According to NYPD records, Williams lives just a few blocks away from the hospital.

police search for escaped man at brookdale university hospital
Officers searched Brownsville and East Flatbush for a man who escaped NYPD custody at Brownsville University Hospital on the morning of January 12. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Brookdale, one of three hospitals in the borough owned by One Brooklyn Health Services, has been significantly understaffed and slammed with patients as a result of the surge in coronavirus cases brought on by the Omicron variant. Only one bed was available in the entire facility as of Tuesday, according to state data.

The NYPD is asking for anyone with knowledge of the incident to submit an anonymous tip to CrimeStoppers by calling 1-800-577-8477 or 1-888-57-74782 for Spanish speakers. Tips can also be submitted online or on Twitter @NYPDTips.

officers at brookdale university hospital
A man escaped police custody while at Brookdale University Hospital on Wednesday, Jan 12. The suspect left a shirt and shoes behind. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell