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Bratton Calls Officers 'Embarrassment' to Department After Prisoner Escapes

By  Ethan Harfenist and Jeff Mays | October 20, 2015 3:45pm 

 Police Commissioner Bill Bratton speaks during a press conference at NYPD headquarters Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton speaks during a press conference at NYPD headquarters Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

MANHATTAN — Police Commissioner Bill Bratton lambasted several NYPD officers from the 75th Precinct after they let a prisoner escape their custody on Tuesday morning.

"They are an embarrassment to themselves, to their unit and to the department," the normally stoic Bratton said at a press conference. "I'm not going to tolerate it."

The prisoner, Gerald Brooks, 39, was picked up by the warrant squad about 5:45 a.m. Tuesday on at least five outstanding warrants, according to the NYPD.

In spite of having his hands cuffed behind his back, Brooks was able to "bump" a sergeant away and escape at 654 Sheffield Ave. about 7:30 a.m. as officers were trying to transfer him to another precinct in Brooklyn, police said.

Three officers gave chase, but he still managed to outrun them, fleeing northbound on Georgia Ave towards New Lots Ave, police said. 

"If the cops would just pay attention to their responsibilities, a lot of this would stop," said the Bratton, adding that veteran officers should know better.

Brooks has 54 previous arrests for domestic violence and assault among other charges, police said.

Brooks is the latest prisoner to give officers the slip.

This summer, three prisoners escaped from three different precincts in Harlem.

In August, a suspect being brought to the 23rd Precinct in East Harlem successfully ran away. In July, a suspect at East Harlem's 25th Precinct escaped custody. And in June, attempted murder suspect Tareek Arnold, 23, also escaped from Central Harlem's 32nd Precinct while officers were transporting him to Central Booking. Arnold was later caught.

Tuesday's escaped prisoner comes on the heels of an officer from the 75th Precinct who left his loaded service weapon, uniform and other gear in the trunk of his car, and came back to find it stolen, officials said. It was later recovered.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story misstated that Brooks escaped from the 75th Precinct. He escaped police custody at 654 Sheffield Ave.