Inmate escapes floating NYC prison barge, Manhunt underway

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Authorities are hunting for a 30-year-old inmate who slipped through his cell window and escaped from a floating prison barge in The Bronx overnight, police and sources said.

The inmate — who prison sources identified as David Mordukhaev — stands approximately 5-foot-8 and is 220 pounds. He fled the Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center, on Halleck Street, sometime after midnight.

The facility is now on lockdown as authorities hunt for Mordukhaev, said city Department of Corrections spokesman Peter Thorne.

“No escape from our facilities is ever acceptable and we are taking every step to locate and return this individual to custody. A thorough investigation into how this occurred is underway to ensure that this does not happen again, and disciplinary action, if warranted, will be taken at the conclusion of the investigation,” Thorne said.

Guards realized at around 4:30 a.m. that Mordukhaev was unaccounted for, sources said.

Mordukhaev was sentenced in December 2013 to 65 months in prison for his involvement in a plot to burglarize a pharmacy in Marlboro Township, N.J., and sell the stolen narcotics for cash, then-U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced at the time.

Mordukhaev once allegedly impersonated a cop, police said.

Mordukhaev was arrested in April 2020 after he and another suspect, flashing badges and a police radio, approached a man in an SUV in Brooklyn and took off with $340 and a stash of marijuana. When the victim realized the two weren’t cops, he tried to follow them in his car, cops said.

Mordukhaev’s car was later found crashed and unoccupied on Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn, police said.

The escaped inmate is a “respectful straight shooter who always told me the truth,” claimed lawyer Lance Lazzaro, who repped Mordukhaev in some of his past cases.

Lazzaro said he believed Mordukhaev’s parents were long-dead, which is one reason why he’s led a troubled life, but that a large, close-knit group of relatives have come to court in the past to support Mordukhaev.

Inmates range in custody levels from “medium to maximum security,” according to the prison website, which notes the current capacity is 870 inmates and offenders are housed in 16 dormitories and 100 cells within the five-story structure.

Few New Yorkers know about the boat tied up off the South Bronx that some former inmates call a “slave ship.”

Bain, a motor-less ship, was towed from Mississippi to New York in 1992. The Lego-like ship has both cells and dormitories but many inmates are in the closely-packed dorms.

The boat was ordered in 1988 when the city’s jail population was about 22,000 and exploding from the crack epidemic. Only 5,400 inmates remain in the city’s jails, but Bain is still there.