“I grabbed my flashlight, moved the sheet and there’s a face looking back at me," Terry Pierson told reporters

By Harriet Sokmensuer
September 11, 2020 02:14 PM
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A New York City man said he found an escaped prisoner hiding in his basement after he noticed an unusual bump in a sheet over his weaving loom.

On Wednesday night, 62-year-old Terry Pierson was watching TV in his Brooklyn home when he said he noticed an "odd lump" underneath his loom.

“I grabbed my flashlight, moved the sheet and there’s a face looking back at me. He’s been sitting behind my chair for three hours,” Pierson told reporters of the moment he came face-to-face with a man police say was escaped prisoner Jhonny Soto, CBS New York reports . “I went running that way for the police that I knew were in the backyard, hollering, ‘He’s in there, he’s in there.'”

Pierson's neighborhood had been put on alert to keep an eye out for Soto, 19, who allegedly escaped from federal custody Wednesday afternoon, setting off an hours-long manhunt, ABC7 reports.

Soto allegedly hopped over fences after escaping and attempted to hide in another local resident's porch before she chased him away.

“He was already on our porch, so I grabbed the meat cleaver and I chased him off the house," Stefanie Tatsis said, CBS New York reports. "He jumped over and he started doing his jumping over each yard to try to find his escape."

That's when it's believed he snuck into Pierson's home, which police had already searched, through a cracked backdoor. He hid underneath a sheet over the 62-year-old's loom until he was discovered, forcing him to come out of hiding, according to NBC News.

“As soon as he came out the basement, there was two officers waiting,” one man told CBS New York.

Soto was arrested in Queens on Monday for allegedly possessing an illegal firearm that had the manufacturer's serial number removed. He was on his way to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, when he escaped. It is unclear whether he has an attorney to comment on his behalf.