Panic and chaos broke out Wednesday night (July 26) when the Rikers Island staff noticed the inmate head count was off by one, which led to a seven-hour manhunt to locate the escapee.
Naquan Hill, 24, didn’t return from an outside recreation but was thankfully found just after 3 AM about 100 yards away on the island hiding inside a trailer. While two correction officers were driving on the grounds, Hill jumped out and tried to fight off the officers.
Hill is being held without bail for two 2016 Queens break-ins and reportedly also served time in a state prison for several 2012 burglary convictions. Rikers Island officials also didn’t notify the public of the escape for about three hours, nor did they release Hill’s photo. During that time hundred of visitors to the island weren’t allowed off the bus while the search commenced. At about 10:45 PM, five buses left the island with visitors shouting “Freedom!” upon being released.
“I was stuck in that bus for three hours. No consideration. Everybody loud. Everybody was going crazy, everybody was in the bus suffocating,” said Wendy Jamie, 33, who was visiting an inmate at the Kross center when the lock down began.
Hill is back in custody and an investigation into how he was able to escape is still underway.