Police are trying to figure out who helped John B. Fleeman Jr. out of a pair of handcuffs after he ran from officers at Glens Falls Hospital late Friday, sparking a 20-hour manhunt.

Fleeman, 21, will be charged with felony escape for his flight from Hudson Falls Police around 9 p.m., and multiple police agencies were looking into whether anyone should be charged for assisting Fleeman after he ran off.

He was arrested by Washington County sheriff’s officers around 5:30 p.m. Saturday in a car being driven by a relative in Fort Ann. Officers recognized him in the vehicle, and he was taken into custody without incident at that point.

Hudson Falls Police Chief Scott Gillis said he no longer had on handcuffs he had been wearing when he fled from Hudson Falls Police Officer James Holcomb on Friday night, and they have not been recovered.

Fleeman had been taken to the hospital after arrest Friday night by Hudson Falls Police on a felony probation violation warrant. He injured a Hudson Falls officer during the arrest and was injured himself, and was taken to the hospital for treatment of an arm injury.

He had been treated and was on his way out of the hospital to be taken to Washington County Jail when he ran off, police said.

Gillis said he had been wearing leg shackles that connected to a waist chain and handcuffs, but complained the shackles were aggravating his injured arm, so they were taken off.

The arm Fleeman claimed was hurt was in a sling at that point.

“He said, as he was walking, they (the shackles) were pulling on his injured arm. Jim (Holcomb) was nice to him, and he took advantage of it,” Gillis said.

Holcomb did not have a hold of Fleeman as he should have as he was being escorted from the emergency room, and the chief said the officer will be counseled for that issue.

Glens Falls Police will handle the felony escape charge, since the escape occurred in Glens Falls.

Fleeman was charged with felony assault in connection with the injured officer and misdemeanor resisting arrest, and Hudson Falls Police may add a misdemeanor petit larceny count for the missing handcuffs.

The warrant that led to his initial arrest was for violating probation on a 2017 felony robbery conviction for a mugging in Glens Falls.

Washington County sheriff’s Capt. Tony LeClaire said Fleeman was traveling with a relative when he was arrested Saturday night, but the Sheriff’s Office did not have plans to charge the relative as of Monday.

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reporter - crimes & courts, public safety and Warren County government

Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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