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Prisoner caught after escaping Suffolk police custody at hospital, authorities say

A Suffolk County police car at Good Samaritan

A Suffolk County police car at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip on Oct. 2, 2015. Credit: Ed Betz

A prisoner who escaped Suffolk police custody at a hospital yesterday was caught after more than an hour on the run, authorities said.

Alexander Thomas, 25, of East Fourth Street in Huntington, was arrested Thursday night on gun and other charges by First Precinct officers, according to a Suffolk police news release. During the arrest, Thomas was shocked with a stun gun and taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip after he complained of chest pains, the release said.

He "apparently assaulted" an officer in the emergency room about 11:50 a.m. yesterday and ran off, with the officer and hospital security chasing him, hospital spokeswoman Theresa Jacobellis said.

The prisoner was brought back by 1:15 p.m. after a ground and helicopter search, she said.

A canine unit found the suspect in a recharge basin near St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip, a police source said.

The prisoner and officer were treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital, the release said.

Attorney John LoTurco of Huntington confirmed his client Thomas was arrested on a weapons-possession charge.

"They brought him to the hospital for an echocardiogram because he was complaining of chest pains," LoTurco said.

He was expecting a 3- to 6-year sentence Oct. 22 on third-degree robbery, criminal possession of a drug, cocaine, and resisting arrest as part of plea deal, the attorney said.

"Unfortunately, he is subject to a longer sentence not only on the new charge but for potentially violating the plea agreement," LoTurco said.

Thomas -- arrested Thursday on charges of criminal possession of a loaded weapon, criminal possession of stolen property, false personation, harassment and resisting arrest -- now faces additional charges of escape and assault, police said.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Saturday at First District Court in Central Islip.

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