A man who escaped barefoot from an East Harlem police precinct by climbing out of a window in July 2015 — and compared himself to famous druglord “El Chapo” — was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison.
Arthur Collins, 59, who had been convicted at trial in Manhattan Supreme Court of felony drug possession and escape, insisted he surrendered to police after they reported him missing from custody because he had nothing to hide.
“I believe I’m innocent,” he said at the start of a rambling statement to Justice Mark Dwyer during his sentencing. “I didn’t escape — first and foremost.”
Collins said he should get no more than “time served.”
“I have been humiliated. I have been put in a mental health ward for no reason,” he argued.
Collins had been taken to the 25th Precinct, for cocaine possession, and got out of the building after complaining to cops that his cellmate was masturbating in front of him.
The offensive inmate was removed, but Collins said he was left unattended — and had a key to the cell within reach.
Once on the lam, the NYPD distributed his mug shot and a wanted poster for Collins.
He surrendered three days later and boasted to reporters that he was like Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Mexican narcotics kingpin who made headlines for more sophisticated and daring prison escapes.
Collins’ attorney Rick Pasacreta argued his client should serve no more than a year.
He said Collins has a drug problem but has respected the court and the process and quickly turned himself in when he learned cops were looking for him.
“He respects the process. He respects the court. It’s a sign of his good character,” Pasacreta said.
Dwyer was not swayed by the DA’s bid for the maximum sentence — 5½ years for possession of cocaine and up to four years for the escape.