NEW YORK, NY – New York City’s Rikers Island prison has accidently released two inmates within the past two weeks, and while one of them has since been located, the other – a suspect in a murder – is still at large, according to reports.
The accidental releases of the two inmates has put New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on the hot seat, as people are now peppering him with questions about the apparent security problems at Rikers Island that could have lead to this situation.
“This is being fully investigated right now. We are going to put additional safeguards in place to make sure this never happens again. It’s very frustrating,” de Blasio said. “So we are going to get a full review of this immediately, make whatever changes we have to. In the meantime, we have a high level of confidence that he will be re-apprehended shortly.”
Of the two inmates, Christopher Buggs, 26, was housed in the prison while awaiting trial for a charge of murder but was mistakenly released on March 10. He had also been serving time for a minor contempt charge which had expired at that point.
Buggs, accused of killing 55-year-old Ernest Brownlee in 2018 outside a bodega in Bedford-Stuyvesant, remains at large after nine days on the run; meanwhile, authorities are still attempting to track him down and place him under arrest.
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The other inmate, Nikim Meekins, 22, is a suspect in a shooting that took place last summer and was originally being held on $30,000 bail on a charge of attempted murder and a reduced $1 nominal bail for a second charge for possession of a firearm, reports say.
But Meekins was released after making an appearance in court on Monday when the clerk accidently marked him to be released on his own recognizance (ROR) on both charges, even though bail had only been paid for the $1 gun charge.
However, Meekins reported back to prison at midnight on Thursday after a judge issued a bench warrant.
Anyone with information in regard to the whereabouts of Christopher Buggs is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).