A 53-year-old man facing attempted rape and theft charges was accidentally released from the 18th District police station in West Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon due to a paperwork error, according to Philadelphia police.
Russell Allen Bryant remained free until Wednesday morning, when he showed up at a Drexel University police station regarding another case and was placed back in custody, according to Capt. Sekou Kinebrew, police spokesman.
Kinebrew said Bryant had been at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility since May 23, when he was arrested and charged with attempted rape, sexual assault, and related counts for an incident in the 5500 block of Thompson Street in October.
On Tuesday afternoon, Kinebrew said, Bryant was taken to the 18th District to face charges in a theft May 11 on the 3500 block of Lancaster Avenue.
After being arraigned around 4:50 p.m., Kinebrew said, officers let Bryant go free because they were apparently unaware he was being held in the assault case.
“Somehow or another,” Kinebrew said, “these sets of paperwork got detached from one another.”
Police are not sure what Bryant did overnight. Kinebrew said that Wednesday morning, Bryant walked into the Drexel police station to talk to officers about another matter when one of them recognized him and alerted Philadelphia police. Bryant was placed back in custody without incident, Kinebrew said.
Police were investigating what happened at the 18th District, at 55th and Pine Streets. Kinebrew said it was not immediately clear if Bryant would face additional counts for his time on the lam, since it’s not as if he smashed windows or jumped out of a police cruiser.
“He may have believed he was released,” Kinebrew said.