Pa. Suspect Opened Ankle Shackles to Escape Hospital

Alexander Erb was caught with a handcuff key in his pocket.

A Pittsburgh man suspected of domestic violence was captured after escaping the hospital where he was being treated October 12.

Police are investigating how Alexander Erb, 26, was able to get a key and open his ankle shackles while under the watch of a deputy, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Erb was discovered hiding under a bed at a nearby house owned by his friend a little more than 16 hours after his escape.

Erb was sitting in a hospital room with Deputy Sheriff Mark Wroblewski around 1 a.m. Monday when he asked a nurse to turn up the air conditioning. When the nurse walked between Erb and the deputy sheriff Erb ran out of the room and down five flights of stairs barefoot. Deputy Wroblewski chased the suspect down the stairs, but lost sight of him and called for backup.

Police found Erb around 5:20 p.m. with a handcuff key in his pocket, although they haven’t determined how he got it. Deputy Wroblewski still had his handcuff key in his possession, but police said the keys are universal.

Erb was initially sent to the hospital because he claimed to have swallowed heroin. He now faces charges of escape, possessing instruments of crime and resisting arrest. The person who was housing Erb has been charged with hindering apprehension.

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