Murder Suspect Escapes Police Custody at GWU Hospital, Still at-Large

“Wanted Escapee.” This alarming subject heading accompanied an AlertDC email via the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) yesterday Sept. 6 at 5:05 p.m. And the alert’s message helped local residents in Georgetown and Foggy Bottom neighborhoods make sense of the swirling police helicopters overhead searching block-by-block, numerous traffic closures and long blockades behind police caution tape.

Christopher Patrick Haynes, 30, a murder suspect in police custody had escaped around 3:30 p.m. from George Washington University Hospital at 900 23rd St. NW. 

The Metropolitan Police Department seeks the public’s assistance in locating a suspect wanted for an escape offense. He was previously arrested on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, and charged with a Homicide offense. Christopher Patrick Haynes, pictured below, is described as a 30-year-old black male, 6’0” in height, weighing approximately 205 pounds with a medium brown complexion. Haynes has black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, at approximately 3:30 p.m., in the 900 block of 23rd Street, Northwest, wearing a black T-shirt and gray shorts underneath a white bodysuit,” the alert said.

Christopher Patrick Haynes. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Police Department.

“Officers with long guns were seen in the area of the escape. Police warned residents to expect street closures in the Foggy Bottom area,” the Washington Post reported. Traffic closures included: Southbound lanes of Key Bridge, M and K streets, Canal Road and Whitehurst Freeway. “The Secret Service said there were ‘temporary, precautionary closures’ around the White House, and its uniformed officers were helping in the search. Federal agencies in the area were also being secured and searched. 

“GW Hospital is coordinating with local authorities and monitoring the situation. The hospital remains fully operational,” the George Washington University Hospital said in a statement while the university sheltered in-place.

On yesterday evening’s television broadcast, an anchor at DCNewsNow began: “Breaking news: DC police are scouring neighborhoods right now to find a murder suspect who escaped George Washington University Hospital late this afternoon.” Reporter Mariel Carbone reported live from outside George Washington University Law School, still under shelter-in-place orders from the university. “We’ve got MPD out here, the campus police, [and]  the Secret Service, so [there are] a lot of people in this area,” she told viewers. After sheltering for hours inside classrooms, students began “leaving in pairs” and “getting Ubers, so they weren’t walking around by themselves, because of that alert,” Carbone said.

On ABC’s national news broadcast this morning September 7 at 9:48 a.m., a news anchor led with, “A homicide suspect is on-the-run after escaping from custody at a Washington, D.C., hospital, authorities said.” The story updated Haynes’s appearance at last sighting, according to an MPD update: Haynes was “last seen wearing a black t-shirt and a handcuff on one wrist.” 

According to MPD Acting Chief Pamela A. Smith, Haynes was not secured by police officers to a gurney as they switched out handcuffs in the emergency room. “Haynes ran away during the handcuff change, prompting authorities to order students and staff members at the university in Northwest Washington’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood to shelter in place while they conducted a massive manhunt,” the Post reported. D.C. police policies require a suspect in custody at a hospital, to have “at least one arm or leg secured [by an officer] to a fixed object at all times,” the Post reported.

Following the shelter-in-place orders “due to the dangerous individual around campus,” George Washington University announced around 6:00 p.m., all classes and events canceled for the remainder of the evening. Later yesterday evening, “Police cleared the scene at 23rd Street near GW Hospital and departed,” the university said on X.  “While the suspect has not been apprehended, he is not believed to be in our area.” 

The School Without Walls, a high school located on the university campus, briefly went into lockdown, the Post reported. “About 30 students were in the building at the time. The lockdown was lifted about 5:15 p.m. “For those traveling home, please get home safely,” the school said in an alert, according to the Post. 

MPD posted a follow-up report on X at approximately 6:30 p.m yesterday with a new picture of the purported escapee Haynes with additional details: “UPDATE: Haynes was last seen with black handcuffs hanging from his right wrist. He is possibly wearing a black t-shirt and gray shorts.”

Follow-up photo purportedly of Haynes posted by MPD to X. Courtesy MPD.

D.C. police, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to Haynes’s arrest, according to a law enforcement source, as reported by ABC.

On the national news, reports and video purportedly capturing another escapee’s parkour-style breakout in Pennsylvania were reported out simultaneously to the escapee story in D.C. “Fugitive Pennsylvania killer used previous escapee’s ‘crab walking’ breakout method,” a Pennsylvania Warden reported, according to ABC News.

An August 16 bulletin from Prince William County Police requested assistance from the public in a previous criminal episode involving the D.C. escapee Haynes. “Haynes was approached by officers when he allegedly put his car into reverse, almost hitting an officer and a police department bicycle,” the press release stated. “Haynes then put the car in drive and drove at two other officers, also hitting their bikes. Officers attempted to pull him over, but he fled on foot.” 

No word yet on reasons Payne was receiving treatment at George Washington University Hospital, nor for which murder he was charged resulting in his custody. 

Stay tuned. And, alert. 



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