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Niagara Falls man who escaped twice from police pleads guilty

LOCKPORT - Robert L. Shimmel of Niagara Falls, who was charged with escaping from police custody twice this year at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one felony to settle the indictment.

Shimmel, 34, of Willow Avenue, could be sentenced to as long as four years in prison when he returns before Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon on Dec. 13.

Shimmel pleaded guilty to second-degree escape for running while a hospital employee was taking him from one place to another within the medical center about 7 p.m. Feb. 18. Shimmel had told officers at Falls City Court that he needed to go to the hospital. He got out of the building but was caught by a policeman about two blocks away.

On May 26, Shimmel complained of chest pain at court and was taken to Memorial, where he admitted to a policeman that he was lying about that. As the officer went to report that to the emergency room nurses, Shimmel hopped off the gurney and tried to flee in his handcuffs and ankle shackles, but he fell down in the parking lot.

Shimmel is currently being held as a parole violator for a 2013 burglary conviction. He was arrested on another burglary count Jan. 26.

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