NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A prisoner accused of escaping police custody addressed reporters as she was led out of a precinct station Tuesday, claiming once again that she was pregnant – even though police earlier said that was not true.
Tiffany Neumann, 23, was rearrested around 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, police said. She was found arriving at her aunt’s house on the Upper West Side, where police were staking out the home, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.
Neumann had been on the run since Sunday, when, police said, she fled from NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital after slipping out of her handcuffs.
As she was being led out of the First Precinct police station at 16 Ericcson Pl. in TriBeCa Tuesday night, Neumann addressed reporters.
“Hi, my name is Tiffany Neumann. I’ve been really beaten by the cops and I really need someone to help me,” she began.
When asked how she escaped police, she replied, “I broke out of the handcuffs when I was out of the hospital after they almost killed me and they just tried it again.”
After her escape, Neumann went bar hopping Sunday at Fresh Salt and Fish Market bars, six short blocks from the hospital, sources told CBS2.
She was first spotted at a bar on Beekman Street where she met up with some other bar patrons, sources said. She then joined their group as they went to another bar on South Street before parting ways around midnight, sources said.
The next morning, another woman in the group realized her cellphone and credit card were missing, sources said. She called the bank and was told there was fraudulent activity on her card, which was then canceled, sources said.
A $61.50 purchase was made on the card at a newsstand on Fulton Street, according to sources. The clerk there remembers Neumann buying cigarettes, candy, headphones and other items, sources said.
“She came to buy some stuff with the cigarettes – to buy some cigarettes and candy — and she just charged with a card,” said newsstand operator Mohammed Ali.
Surveillance video shows Neumann, wearing stolen hospital scrubs, making a purchase at the newsstand, Sanchez reported.
There was also a $20 yellow cab charge on the card, but when another purchase was attempted at a Forever 21 store on Broadway, the card was declined.
The woman whose cellphone and credit cards were missing reported her stolen items to police, and helped lead investigators to the spot with the most recent credit card activity. That was the newsstand.
“The owner of the card — she came here with police and they saw the video,” Ali said.
When police spotted Neumann in the surveillance video, investigators tracked the charges before tracking her down. Police caught up to her at her aunt’s home on West 109th Street.
When CBS2’s Jessica Schneider asked Neumann Tuesday night whether she has stolen a woman’s credit card, Neumann said: “I didn’t steal it. She left it in the bar for me and I used it.”
Neumann said she had purchased cigarettes and food, and said she was pregnant. Police had earlier said Neumann was not really pregnant, and said she made up the story to avoid facing a judge.
Neumann said she “had like a beer” on Sunday. When asked why she was drinking if she was pregnant, Neumann replied, “because I’m so beat up, and then he’s pushing my stomach as we speak. I need help, so if anyone can please help me, I need a lawyer.”
Neumann was then directed by an officer to sit down and placed in the back of an unmarked squad car that sped away. She will face a judge later Tuesday night.
Neumann has been charged with escape, grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.
Neumann gave police a fake name, Christine Figueredo from the Bronx, when she was originally arrested on the Upper West Side on Saturday on petty larceny and theft charges, authorities said.
“Essentially, she stole my identity,” Figueredo told Sanchez.
Neumann allegedly ran out on her bill at an Upper West Side restaurant on Saturday and stole clothes off a rack outside a store on Amsterdam Avenue, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.
As she was getting ready for her arraignment Sunday, she claimed to be pregnant and claimed she had bruising, police said.
That was when one of the arresting officers took her to the hospital, where police said nurses put Neumann in an exam room in a gown and handcuffs.
After a doctor left the exam room, Neumann somehow got out of the handcuffs, took off her gown, put on nurse’s scrubs and walked out of the hospital without anyone noticing, investigators said.
The police officer who was supposed to be guarding Neumann had walked away to use the restroom, police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.
Police called the incident embarrassing and say the officer was suspended.
“There’s no excuse for it,” NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill said. “She’s not a mastermind criminal. It’s purely due to inattentiveness and carelessness.”
Bratton said he will not tolerate what he called “continued lapses in what should be basic policing for the care and custody of a prisoner.”
“So the penalties being imposed, if we find the officer in fact was derelict in their duties, are going to be very significant,” Bratton said.
Neumann is the fourth suspect to escape from police custody in the city in recent months.
Criminal Justice professor Robert McCrie said with thousands of arrests made every week by the NYPD, it’s not as much a numbers problem as a perception problem.
“The NYPD has about a thousand arrests a day, and since June, there have been 60 or 70,000 arrests. Four have escaped control. That’s far too many,” McCrie said. “But it’s not really a tragedy for police management.”
All images and written content is property of the listed RSS FEED if you would like more on this story and images please click the listed feed. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/feed/