COLONIE: Man flees from custody

En route to be deported by federal agents on Wednesday, April 18, Carlos Alberto Herrera, 38, broke out of the window of the van in which he was being transported and fled on foot.

Colonie police were called to the area of the Latham traffic circle to assist U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in apprehending Herrera, an immigrant from El Salvador.

As of Monday, April 23, Herrera was still on the loose.

Herrera, who is 5-foot-9-inches and weighs 160 pounds, kicked out the van's metal-grate reinforced window while it was parked at the Bank of America in Latham.

Immigration agents and Colonie police have not said why the van was stopped at the bank. However, Colonie police said they believe Herrera's family may have been there to meet with Herrera and ICE agents before deportation proceedings.

After escaping, Herrera, who was not in shackles or handcuffed, flagged down a passing motorist and headed west on Route 7 toward the Interstate 87 southbound ramp.

There was no force at all. He stops for this guy, doesn't know he is an escapee and gave him a ride to Albany, said Colonie police Lt. John Van Alstyne.

According to police, the man driving the vehicle that picked up Herrera is not charged with any wrongdoing. The man later told immigration agents that he dropped off Herrera about a half-mile outside of the town line at Hack's Furniture store on Central Avenue in Albany.

Herrera had been at the Schenectady County Jail after Niskayuna police picked him up the day before the escape. Police responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle on parked on the lawn of a residence. A background check uncovered an arrest warrant for Herrera.

Immigration officials were going to process Herrera for deportation at the Latham station on a felony drug conviction. Herrera also had a number of misdemeanor convictions, said ICE spokesmen Mike Gilhooly in a written statement.

Before his Tuesday, April 17, arrest, Herrera had been ordered removed from the country by an immigration judge and was free on bail pending an appeal. That appeal was denied and Herrera disappeared.

ICE has launched an internal investigation into the escape to examine the circumstances surrounding the incident. The investigation will include a review of whether applicable rules, regulations and policy were followed in the transport of Herrera, according to ICE.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Herrera can contact ICE toll-free at (866) 347-2423.""

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