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Inmate takes short jaunt out of LIC prison

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An inmate made a brief escape from a Long Island City prison Sunday only to be apprehended hours later near his former Long Island residence, officials said.

Steven Alenski, 23, was only two months away from his scheduled release when he allegedly dashed away from the Queensboro Correctional Facility at 10:25 a.m. Sunday, state Department of Corrections spokeswoman Linda Foglia said.

“He was considered a low-level nonviolent offender serving a 1 1/2- to three-year sentence for stolen property,” Foglia said Monday.

Alenski had been cleaning receptacles with a supervisor and a second inmate on a loading platform in back of the facility, located at 47-04 Van Dam St., when he bolted from the property , Foglia said.

“It’s a non-secure perimeter,” Foglia said of the minimum-security prison.

The corrections officer immediately gave chase but was unable to keep up with Alenski, who ran down Van Dam Street before turning onto 48th Avenue.

Officials from the state Corrections Department’s inspector general’s office later found Alenski at 6:30 p.m. Sunday on a street in Lindenhurst, the Suffolk County town where he had lived before his arrest, Foglia said.

Although his release had been scheduled for Oct. 4, Alenski faces new criminal charges of escape as well as internal disciplinary charges as a result of his brief taste of freedom, Foglia said.

The jaunt may now cost him an additional 3 1/2 to seven years in prison.

Alenski was originally incarcerated in September 1999 on criminal charges stemming from an incident in Queens, Foglia said.

He is now being held at Sing Sing, a maximum security prison in Ossining, Westchester County.

The Queensboro Correctional Facility houses 428 prisoners who are all considered low-level nonviolent offenders.

The prison sits in an industrial section of Long Island City that has lately been undergoing a transformation with an influx of new businesses as well as arts and educational institutions. MoMA QNS, the new temporary home for the Museum of Modern Art, is only two blocks east of the prison, which sits alongside the campus of LaGuardia Community College, part of the City University of New York system.

Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 7:16 pm, October 10, 2011
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