Who is Christopher Buggs? NY murder suspect who told judge 'suck my d**k' accidentally freed from Rikers Island
Christopher Buggs was released by mistake on Tuesday, March 9 and has been confirmed to be still at large
RIKERS ISLAND, NEW YORK: Christopher Buggs, a murder suspect who had been awaiting trial in a 2018 Brooklyn murder case for over three years, was accidentally released from Otis Bantum Correctional Center in Rikers Island, New York, due to a clerical error. The 26-year-old was released by mistake on Tuesday, March 9 and has been confirmed to be still at large. Buggs is described as 5 feet and 5 inches tall and 160 pounds, he is also being considered armed and dangerous as a manhunt has been launched to look for him.
Around a month ago, Buggs reportedly insulted Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Vincent Del Guidice by saying "Suck my d***". It was the 30-day contempt of court sentence slapped by the furious judge on Buggs that led to the entire error.
Who is Christopher Buggs?
Three years ago, on January 29, 2018, a 23-year-old Buggs shot 55-year-old Ernest Brownlee outside a Brooklyn Deli. The victim Brownlee was a former convict who served prison time for two murders in the early 1980s. In 2011, he was accused of burglary charges in Brooklyn for which he spent three more years behind bars.
Brownlee was having his lunch of pepper steak, rice, and beans at the B&G Deli and Food Corp. in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, when Buggs suddenly appeared and shot him thrice in the chest. The shooting took place at 12:40 pm on Friday, January 29, 2018. Buggs was soon nabbed by the police and kept in Rikers Island where he had been waiting for his trial.
Buggs had to make a virtual appearance before Judge Guidice via a video session from Rikers Island on February 16, 2021. In the course of the court session, the judge denied his bail application on the murder charge. This upset Buggs, who repeatedly told the judge "suck my d***" afterward, reports DailyNews.
Outraged at his demeanor, the judge ordered a 30-day contempt of court sentence on Buggs for the outburst. However, this month-long sentence was somehow mistakenly listed as the final resolution of his murder arrest owing to a clerical error. Thus, Buggs was allowed to walk free on Tuesday, March 9 and even given cash and a MetroCard, before he boarded a correction department bus around 2 am.
After Buggs's release by mistake, Correction officials have promised a full probe into the mix-up, admitting that "this is a huge deal". A former correction officer and his presently active counterpart both agreed that the process of an inmate's release should typically start with a call to the correction officers to prepare the inmate for freedom, states DailyNews. Thereafter, the Rikers Island general office clears the release and three officers at the intake office approve the same before an inmate checks out of jail. Additionally, an intake captain's go-ahead is needed for the release, followed by final approval from the assistant deputy warden.
For now, it is still unclear how Buggs was released despite the elaborate procedure of approval and verification. "Sometimes there has to be some common sense. Somebody didn’t have their thinking cap on. Somebody should have said, ‘Wait a minute,"' said a former employee of the Department of Correction.
Meanwhile, Winifred Mackins, the 55-year-old widow of Buggs's alleged victim Brownlee, said, "I don't like this. I'm angry. They need to find this guy."
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio stated, “This is being fully investigated right now. We’re going to put additional safeguards in place to make sure this never happens again. It’s very frustrating. It was based on a court order, but it was apparently one case that this inmate had connected to him, but there were other charges obviously as well that should’ve meant he remained incarcerated. So we’re going to get a full review of this immediately, make whatever changes we have to. In the meantime, we have a high level of confidence that he will be re-apprehended shortly.”
The Internet has reacted with dismay to the bizarre mix-up by police officials that endangered the lives of citizens. "Murder Suspect Christopher Buggs Mistakenly Released From Rikers, NYPD Says https://youtu.be/2g9Svt5223o via @YouTube Total imbeciles," tweeted one user. Another said, "New York is a mess" while sharing the news.
Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.