Police launched a search this week for a Brooklyn murder suspect who was mistakenly released from Rikers Island, an NYPD spokesperson said Wednesday.
Christopher Buggs, 26, was prematurely released from the Otis Bantum Correctional Center at Rikers on Monday, a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Correction said.
Peter Thorne, deputy commissioner of public information, said the DOC was investigating how Buggs was mistakenly released.
“We are aware of this incident and a full investigation into how this happened is underway. Right now we are working with our law enforcement partners to return this individual to custody,” Thorne said.
“This is being fully investigated,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told PIX11’s James Ford at his daily briefing Wednesday. “We’re going to put additional safeguards in place to make sure this never happens again,” he assured.
The Daily News reported that Buggs’ release was the result of a clerical error.
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.”
The mayor said there will be a full review of the incident.
“We have a high level of confidence that he will be reapprehended shortly,” de Blasio said.
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.
Police said they were seeking the public’s help in locating Buggs Tuesday night and released a photo.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).