Pols worry about Creedmoor security

By Gabrielle Prusak

Concern mounted over security at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens Village after another patient escaped Tuesday by climbing over a fence, the NYPD said.

Clifford Brown, the patient who escaped Tuesday, was sent to the facility from Riker’s Island for a psychiatric evaluation, according to state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside). Brown was found Wednesday and arrived back at the hospital, police said.

He was second patient within the last six months to escape the facility.

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) said, “This situation is deeply concerning, especially given the fact that this incident marks the second escape of a patient in less than a six-month period.”

Civic leaders also were disturbed by the two incidents.

“We [the local civic associations] are quite angry about this and very worried that criminals may escape and in a short walk be in our quiet, tree-lined streets posing danger to our families, children, etc.,” said Richard Hellenbrecht, of the Queens Civic Congress.

Creedmoor did not return a request for comment.

Raymond Morillo, the patient who had escaped six months ago, was a 33-year-old convicted killer who quietly walked out of the psychiatric center after switching clothes with a visitor, police said. Morillo was captured a few days later by authorities in Tennessee and was returned to the hospital, authorities said.

Hellenbrecht said, “Our local civics banded together after the last escape and submitted a list of demands six months ago to prevent additional security breaches at the facility.”

Avella immediately requested a prompt investigation by the Office of Mental Health of the events, which led up to the escape of Brown.

“At this point, it is apparent that current security procedures at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center are in dire need of reform and the sense of security for the surrounding residents has been deeply shaken,” the senator said.

He continued, “I call on the state, which has already launched an investigation following the first incident at my request, to expand their investigation of all security procedures at Creedmoor and implement all necessary changes as soon as possible.”