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Suspect Sends NYPD On Wild Chase Through Subway Tunnels

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A fugitive was back in custody Friday night after leading the NYPD on an underground chase.

The man escaped somehow and quickly headed underground and was on the run in the subway tunnels.

It was an all-out manhunt that sent sirens through the streets, leaving people gawking.

"Literally one cop right behind him and 60 cops chasing him," witness Scott Rochlin told CBS 2's Jessica Schneider.

"We just saw two undercover cops running this way and a whole ton of police cars and then an ambulance," Erich Butters added.

A 19-year-old man, who had just been arrested for marijuana possession, somehow managed to jump out of the back of a police van near Christopher Street.

He took off while wearing handcuffs and went underground. He got into the subway tunnels, forcing a complete shutdown of the 1, 2 and 3 subway lines from Christopher Street south to Chambers Street and north to 42nd Street, police said.

"All the cops pretty much jumped out of their cars and ran down into any subway entrance they could find," said witness Joseph Moskowitz.

That suspect on the run was spotted on the tracks at Union Square station shortly after his escape. Police then shut down train service from there to 23rd Street.

"I saw him right before he got caught -- literally right before he got caught," said witness Scott Rochlin.

On the East Side, dozens of people watched as police officers chased the man, who had emerged from the subway tunnels up Lexington and Park and through side streets.

Police finally nabbed the suspect around 21st Street and Lexington.

"They were yelling that they got him and then they were running over to 3rd Avenue," Moskowitz said.

"It's crazy, it's crazy. Thank God no one got hurt and they got him, they got him," Rochlin added.

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