Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182

For immediate release:

Saturday, July 4, 1998

Police searching for inmate who escaped from Wyoming Hospital

More than 100 state and local police officers using at least two canine units are searching today for an inmate who escaped early this morning from Wyoming County Community Hospital in Warsaw where he was undergoing in-patient treatment.

Ronald Manning, 31, is serving a sentence of 30-years-to-life following his Albany County conviction on charges of attempted murder, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and a single count of attempted assault. He was admitted to the state prison system on September 20, 1991.

He is a white male, 5'10" tall, weighs approximately 130 pounds, has brown hair and blue eyes. He has a tattoo of a flower on his left chest and the word "Roni." He was last seen wearing a white hospital gown.

The search today is being coordinated by the Division of State Police out of a command center established at their Warsaw station. Assisting are the Department of Correctional Services, the Wyoming County Sheriff's Department and the Warsaw Police Department. Searchers are dispersed between roving and fixed posts throughout the general area surrounding Warsaw. A specific list of search locations is not being released for security reasons, in case Manning has access to either television or radio.

The room in which Manning was hospitalized is secured with windows covered with wire screening and secured with a padlock. Two Officers are assigned to the five-bed secure unit at the hospital serving prison inmates in the western New York area. Manning was the only inmate hospitalized at the time.

When a nurse went to check on the inmate at 4:17 a.m., he was gone. The padlock to the window screening was broken. The inmate had also stuffed extra sheets into his bed to make it appear he was sleeping. He also tied sheets together, secured one end to the window frame and lowered himself to the ground from his second-story room.

Manning was transferred July 3 from Attica Correctional Facility to the hospital for treatment of a collapsed lung. He had been housed at Attica since his July 15, 1997, transfer from Clinton Correctional Facility.

Attica currently houses 2,194 inmates. Its capacity is 2,240. The state prison system is operating today at 131 percent of capacity with 69,954 inmates. This morning's escape is the first from a secure setting in 1998. While there were four such escapes last year, there were none in either 1996 or 1995.

Manning's institutional record consists of working as a porter and in the Industries program while at Clinton but on medical exemption from programs while at Attica. His record also includes rules infractions, mostly violating direct orders from staff. The violations were not serious enough to warrant loss of good time.