Prisoner Escapes Custody During Work Detail: Philadelphia Police Launch Manhunt

Prisoner Escapes Custody During Work Detail: Philadelphia Police Launch Manhunt

Gino Hagenkotter, a 34-year-old inmate at Riverside Correctional Facility, escaped from custody while on a work detail assignment in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia police are on the hunt for Gino Hagenkotter, a 34-year-old prisoner who escaped custody while on a work detail assignment. Hagenkotter, an inmate at Riverside Correctional Facility, was working in the orchard behind the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Facility (PICC) when he made his escape. The incident has sparked a manhunt as law enforcement agencies work together to locate and apprehend the fugitive.

The Escape

Hagenkotter, who was serving time at Riverside Correctional Facility, asked a guard for permission to use the bathroom during his work detail assignment. The guard granted his request, but Hagenkotter failed to return within a reasonable time. Upon investigation, it was discovered that he had left the compound, prompting officials to sound the alarm.

Search and Lockdown

Once it was confirmed that Hagenkotter had escaped, Philadelphia police were notified, and all Philadelphia prison facilities were placed on lockdown. Police officers and K-9 units set up a perimeter in the area surrounding the correctional facility, but it is believed that Hagenkotter had already moved beyond their reach. The U.S. Marshals Service has joined the search effort and is checking Hagenkotter’s known addresses in an attempt to locate him.

Description and Investigation

Hagenkotter is described as a 34-year-old white man, approximately 5’06” tall, weighing 140 pounds, with brown eyes and grey hair. He was last seen wearing a white short-sleeved t-shirt, blue pants, and dark-colored boots. Investigators have determined that Hagenkotter left behind his jumpsuit during his escape, and police dogs have picked up his scent.

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Background of the Escapee

According to court documents, Hagenkotter had been in custody at the Bucks County Prison on retail theft charges in 2019 before being transferred to Riverside Correctional Facility in April of 2023. He had violated his parole on multiple drug, retail theft, and burglary charges. Hagenkotter was eligible for an outside work assignment due to the nature of his sentence. However, despite being in minimum custody, authorities warn that he should not be approached, and anyone who sees him or is contacted by him should immediately call the police.

Possible Motive for Escape

Commissioner Blanche Carney of the Philadelphia Prisons Department revealed that Hagenkotter was scheduled for release on Thursday for a court-ordered program. However, his release date was pushed back to April 26, 2024, after officials discovered his involvement in a retail theft incident in Bucks County. Carney believes that the delayed release may have influenced Hagenkotter’s decision to escape, as he was aware that he would soon be released to a program.

Impact on Local Schools

The escape prompted a shelter-in-place order for the New Foundations Charter School located near the correctional facility. Parents were informed that the escaped prisoner was part of a work-release program and not an immediate danger to the community. However, as a precautionary measure, the school was advised to continue instruction but restrict entry and exit from the building.

Concerns over Prison Safety

This escape comes on the heels of safety concerns raised about the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center (PICC). In May, two inmates escaped from the facility, and in November, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner highlighted issues such as staffing shortages and faulty security equipment at PICC. Commissioner Carney acknowledged the staffing challenges but stated that they did not contribute to Hagenkotter’s escape.

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Conclusion: As the manhunt for Gino Hagenkotter intensifies, Philadelphia police and other law enforcement agencies are working tirelessly to locate and apprehend the escaped prisoner. The incident has raised questions about prison security and the need for stricter protocols to prevent future escapes. The community remains on alert as authorities continue their search for Hagenkotter, urging anyone with information to come forward and assist in his capture.