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Authorities Watch Railroads For Two Sing Sing Escapees

December 10, 1986

OSSINING, N.Y. (AP) _ Police officers and dogs were posted at commuter railroad stations along the Hudson River today, searching for two murderers who created a smokescreen, then climbed a bootlace ladder out of Sing Sing prison.

A burglar who escaped Tuesay with the others was captured about five hours later along railroad tracks 400 yards south of the Sing Sing Correctional Facility, which also is along the river about 30 miles north of Manhattan, authorities said.

As many as 75 officers continued searching for the other two, who escaped in prison-issue work clothes, said state police Sgt. Dennis Cody.

A helicopter joined the search today, and state police set up roadblocks near Ossining.

Tuesday night, police in Tarrytown, just south of here, thought at least one of the escapees had jumped off a train there, said Tarrytown police Lt. Barney Parra. Bloodhounds checked the 1,200 cars that left a General Motors Corp. parking lot near the station during the midnight shift change.

″We didn’t have any luck,″ Tarrytown police Sgt. Donald McGee said today. ″We’re just keeping an eye on the train stations.″

Officers were posted at all Metro-North commuter stations from Croton-on- Huds on, just north of Sing Sing, to Yonkers, on the New York City line. ″If they can gain access to the city, it would provide additional problems in locating them,″ Cody said early today.

Electricity to the tracks that run alongside the prison was turned off and on during the night as authorities searched. Commuter trains were delayed.

The three inmates dropped from a prison window to the ground after igniting a crude incendiary device that led authorities to believe there was a fire near the railroad line that runs into the facility, said James Flateau, a spokesman for the state Department of Correctional Services.

On the ground, the escapees lit more devices, smoke from which wafted into a tunnel into the prison and over the railroad tracks, Flateau said.

The men scaled a 20-foot wall, then used a 40-foot ladder made of leather bootlaces to climb down both a wall lined with razor-sharp concertina wire and a 20-foot cliff, he said. Smoke shielded them as they ran along the tracks, but it parted for a bit and an officer fired a shot at their feet.

Darius Gittens, 27, was captured at the Scarborough station, Flateau said.

The others were identified as Thomas Linz, 46, and Julio Giano, 24, both of New York City. Giano was serving 48 years to life and Linz 20 years to life.

Sing Sing, one of the country’s best-known prisons, was built about 1825 in a village named for a local Indian tribe. The prison’s size and location gave rise to the expressions ″sent up the river″ and ″the big house.″

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