LOCKPORT – A woman in police custody in Eastern Niagara Hospital ran from authorities after she asked to use the bathroom early Tuesday morning but was later apprehended.
Mariah E. Long, 19, was brought into the emergency room at 9:45 p.m. Monday due to an unspecified medical issue.
She had been picked up on robbery charges on Friday in Niagara Falls and spent the weekend in jail in the city. She was processed at the Niagara County Jail on Monday night and after intake questioning was taken to the Lockport hospital for an evaluation. She was being watched by a female corrections officer when she ran out of the emergency room just after midnight, said Niagara County Sheriff Chief Deputy Michael Dunn.
He said Long was unshackled while the hospital completed a medical exam. She was still unshackled after she had used a nearby bathroom and was dressed to return to jail, but as the officer knelt down to put the shackles back on, Long pushed by her and ran for a nearby door.
Long headed west on East Avenue and was apprehended around 4 a.m. after she was seen driving a stolen pickup on Woodlawn Avenue.
Dunn said Sheriff Lt. Steve Broderick spotted a woman matching Long’s description driving very slowly past a perimeter they had set up. He said the pickup was spotted in an area almost in front of the hospital and it was a very well lit.
“He knew who she was right away,” Dunn said, adding that she eventually stopped, but gave a false name when questioned by Broderick.
Dunn said they are investigating how Long got into the truck. He said she had found clothing in the truck and had changed before she was stopped.
Investigators employed K-9 units and the sheriff’s helicopter in their search, as well as assistance from the Lockport police and State Police.
Charges are pending against Long, who will face charges related to the escape, the vehicle theft and also giving an officer a false name, Dunn said.