Saturday, October 08, 1977

Escaped Rikers Island Prisoner Holds Wife Hostage for 9 Hours

A prisoner who escaped Sunday night from Rikers Island held his wife at gunpoint for nearly nine hours in East Harlem yesterday morning (Friday) before surrendering.

The prisoner, Anthony Ricco, 23, released his wife Yolanda and surrendered after negotiators including a childhood friend who is now a police officer promised not to send him back to Riker’s Island. Earlier he had robbed a garage and stolen a car.
He was remanded by a judge to Bellevue for observation but if he is reimprisoned he would not be taken to Rikers. He was arrested in Feb. 1975, shortly after the murder of a clerk at the Sutton East Hotel. He had a previous conviction for robbery. The police found the car parked and went through the building looking for the robbery suspect.

Seems they had no idea it was his address – no stake out of his wife’s apartment?)Chris Borgen of WCBS-TV was among those who talked to him on a field telephone. A large crowd of spectators, television crews and reporters gathered on the street.

A few minutes later, after the police had instructed television crews where to position their cameras, Mr. Ricco, wearing a beige sport jacket and brown turtleneck shirt was led outside and into a police car. The onlookers cheered.

excerpt from Grace Lichtenstein NYT 10/8/77

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