Murder suspect mistakenly released from Rikers apprehended, officials say

Local News
Police mugshot of murder suspect Christopher Buggs, 26, originally arrested on Feb. 3, 2018. (NYPD)

Police mugshot of murder suspect Christopher Buggs, 26, originally arrested on Feb. 3, 2018. (NYPD)

A murder suspect mistakenly released from Rikers Island last month has been apprehended, officials said Friday.

Christopher Buggs, 26, was prematurely released from the Otis Bantum Correctional Center at Rikers on March 8, a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Correction said.

Friday, Buggs was apprehended following an investigation by the Department of Correction’s intelligence bureau and U.S. Marshalls.

“We hope that Mr. Buggs’ swift return to Rikers Island provides some comfort to the victim’s family,” a DOC official said.

The Daily News previously reported that Buggs’ release was the result of a clerical error.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the release was based on a court order, “but it was, apparently, one case this inmate had connected to him, but there were other charges obviously, as well, that should’ve meant he remained incarcerated.”

Officials have promised an investigation into how Buggs was able to be released, as well as a full review of the incident.

As a part of the investigation, four correction officers at Rikers — including a captain and an assistant deputy warder — were suspected, a Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association confirmed.

Buggs was arrested in February 2018 for fatally shooting a 55-year-old man in the chest at a Brooklyn deli in January of that year, according to police. He was picked up on charges including murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, police said at the time.

In the days following Buggs’ release, an attempted murder suspect was also erroneously released from Rikers. He was previously apprehended.

This is a developing story.

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