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Escapee Nabbed on Subway Platform

March 31, 1991

NEW YORK (AP) _ A violent escapee from an upstate prison was arrested Saturday as he stepped off a Manhattan subway train, four days after his daring jail break with three other inmates, authorities said.

Kenney Ryan, 34, was nabbed without incident by state police and correction officers at a Seventh Avenue subway station, said state Correction Department spokesman James Flateau.

Ryan was serving 23 years to life for the attempted murder of a police officer. He had a ponytail and a goatee when he escaped Tuesday, but was clean-shaven with short hair when he was captured, and his shorn locks were found in one of his pockets, Flateau said.

Ryan and three convicted murderers escaped through the attic in their cellblock at the Eastern Correctional Facility in upstate Napanoch, 75 miles northwest of New York City.

Two of them, Joseph Maggio, 54, and Russell Holder, 33, were arrested early Wednesday about 10 miles south of the prison. George Gatto, 46, who was serving 20 years to life, remained at large.

Surveillance of Ryan’s brother, Daniel, led investigators to the escapee, said state Trooper Robert Gillespie.

Ryan was arraigned late Saturday on a charge of first-degree escape, Flateau said. The felony carries upon conviction a maximum penalty of seven years in prison. He was taken to Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, 10 miles from Napanoch, Flateau said.

Prison officials said the four escaped by climbing to the top of their four-tier cellblock, where they used a ladder chained to a pipe to gain access to the attic. They somehow managed to unchain the ladder and remove the padlock from a hatch that led to the attic.

The prisoners used the ladder to bridge a 15-foot gap between the attic floor and the turret on one side of the front of prison. They then lowered themselves from the turret to the ground with a 50-foot section of firehose.

Correction officers discovered the men were missing at a headcount about four hours later.

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