Security stepped up at Creedmoor after convicted killer escapes psych facility

THE COURIER/File photo

A Queens psychiatric facility has tightened security after a convicted criminal managed to flee the building, according to the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH).

A friend was visiting Raymond Morillo, 33, a patient at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Facility in Queens Village, on January 28, when the two switched clothing and Morillo escaped, police said.

Two days later, Morillo was apprehended in Tennessee.

Raymond Morillo

Morillo served a 14-year prison sentence on a manslaughter charge for a fatal shooting and for assault, but had finished serving his time when he came to Creedmoor, according to published reports.

“Increased identity verification procedures have been put into place at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, which add a separate and distinct layer of verification apart from the identification passes provided at entrances. For security purposes, OMH cannot detail these additional measures,” Ben Rosen, an OMH spokesperson said.

In response to Morillo’s escape, a coalition of more than a dozen civic presidents issued a seven-point plan of action that called for measures, such as a full investigation into the incident, the adoption of a comprehensive security plan for the entire Creedmoor campus that would prevent a similar incident from happening again, and a similar review and assessment of security at nearby Zucker-Hillside Hospital.

Any escaped patient is immediately reported to local law enforcement, Rosen said. It is also OMH policy to undergo a thorough investigation to determine the causes of such occurrences and require appropriate policy changes be made to prevent them from reoccurring.



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