A woman who escaped from police over the weekend was captured yesterday morning near the home of relatives in upper Manhattan, officials said.

Tiffany Neumann, 23, was in police custody Sunday night at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital on Gold Street in lower Manhattan when she managed to slip away, apparently when an officer went on a break, police said.

Neumann, of Los Angeles, who had been arrested on charges of petty larceny and possession of stolen property, dumped her hospital gown and was able to elude authorities for more than a day. She had been taken to the medical facility after claiming she was pregnant and not feeling well, which a police source said wasn't true.

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Police said Neumann was walking on a sidewalk about 8:45 a.m. yesterday when officers approached her as she was about to enter a building on West 109th Street near the Morningside Heights area of Manhattan.

She was arrested and charged with escape, an NYPD spokesman said.

News reports about the escape embarrassed NYPD officials, including Police Commissioner William Bratton, who said that after two instances this summer in which prisoners escaped from custody, the department is coming down hard on officers involved.

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"I will make that very clear . . . the punishment we will be putting in place for these types of events is going to be significant," Bratton said Monday during a news conference. "Once we have a person in our custody, our responsibility is the care and custody of that individual."

As a result of the Neumann escape, an unidentified officer was suspended, according to Chief of Department James O'Neill.