Suspected terrorist William Guilermo Morales, who lost most of both hands last July when his bomb factory exploded, escaped yesterday from the Bellevue Hospital prison ward by climbing down a rope of elastic bandages, police said.
Morales, 28, serving up to 89 years on state and federal convictions on weapons and explosives charges, put a dummy in his bed, used a smuggled bolt cutter to chop through the wire mesh over his window and dropped about three stories ot the ground.
Police Inspector John McCabe said Morales "did have some grabbing power in his hands." He said the rope broke during Morales' descent and he fell at least 20 feet. Morales' eyeglasses, with one lens broken, were found on the ground along with the broken rope of bandages.
City Correction Commissioner William Ciuros later announced that correction officer Thomas Ryan had been suspected without pay pending departmental charges for "negligence in permitting the escape." He said Ryan, a 15-year veteram of the department, had failed to patrol and observe Morales' room.
The terrorist group in which Morales was believed to be active is FALN - Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional, Spanish for the Armed Forces of National Liberation. The group, which has claimed responsibility for more than 110 bombings nationwide, seeks independence for Puerto Rico and the removal of mainland business from the island.