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Police Find Murder Suspect Who Used Bathroom Trip to Escape 78th Precinct

By  Joe Parziale and Trevor Kapp | January 25, 2013 4:59pm | Updated on January 25, 2013 6:39pm

 Brandon Santana, 24, escaped the 78th Precinct stationhouse in Prospect Heights early Thursday Jan. 24, 2013.
Brandon Santana, 24, escaped the 78th Precinct stationhouse in Prospect Heights early Thursday Jan. 24, 2013.
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PROSPECT HEIGHTS  A Brooklyn man who escaped police custody while being questioned for a 2010 homicide by feigning a trip to the bathroom was found in a Bronx building Friday afternoon, police said.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Brandon Santana, 24, was being questioned in connection with an August 2010 killing near the Barclays Center when he fled the 78th precinct station house, 65 Sixth Ave. near Flatbush Avenue, about 2 a.m. Thursday.

He was on the lam until Friday when police found him about 3:15 p.m. at 3930 Third Ave. in The Bronx, police said.

On Thursday, Santana was being held in a second-floor detention pen at the precinct to stand in a lineup the following day when he twice asked to go to the bathroom in the early morning hours, Kelly said. He made his escape as an officer led him to the bathroom the second time, Kelly said.

“He gets out of the pen, pushes the officer, he runs down a corridor, opens the door, runs right in front of the desk,” Kelly said. “The officer behind the desk jumps over the desk, and the lieutenant chases him down the street, but couldn’t apprehend him.”

Santana was not handcuffed, Kelly said.

One police officer suffered minor injuries in the escape, officials added.

Kelly said the escape was an “anomalous” situation, noting that the NYPD has more than 100 facilities where prisoners are processed.

“We don’t accept that, and disciplinary action certainly follows in most of these situations,” Kelly said. “But just the sheer volume in mass that we have, sometimes people don’t comprehend that.”

He said Santana had fled to Iowa soon after finding out he was a suspect in the Aug. 1, 2010 altercation, which involved two groups of people fighting and resulted in one man’s death after he was struck by a tire iron.

Kelly added the suspect took refuge with his brother in the Midwest for two years, but that cops nabbed him soon after finding out he had returned to New York.