Note: This story has been updated multiple times since originally being published, including to clarify that Trumansburg schools are on lockout, not lockdown. 

Update: The search is resuming Tuesday for a man police say escaped custody while taking a cigarette break at the Trumansburg police station.

Andrew Jacobsen, 32, was in custody and in the process of being booked for grand larceny Tuesday afternoon when he asked if he could smoke a cigarette, Trumansburg Police Chief Tom Ferretti said.

Police had been tipped off earlier in the day about Jacobsen’s location and Ferretti and three officers had taken him into custody without incident around 4:45 p.m.

Jacobsen, who worked at Trumansburg PD about four years earlier before being fired for drug use, was taken outside and when officers tried to put handcuffs on him, Ferretti  said Jacobsen shoved an officer and ran away.

“We made a mistake,” Ferretti said.

Prior to his escape, Jacobsen was charged with felony grand larceny regarding the theft of about $4,000 in jewelry. There was also a felony bench warrant out for Jacobsen from New York State Police in Ithaca for forgery. Jacobsen will also be charged with felonies for second-degree assault and second-degree escape.

Jacobsen is described as a white male with a heavy beard, about 6-feet-two-inches tall, weighs about 240 pounds and is wearing khaki shorts and no shoes. Police said he was sighted on Rabbit Run Road around 6:45 a.m. and are still searching the area.

Ferretti said Jacobsen is not believed to be armed and should be considered non-violent.

Trumansburg area schools are currently on lockout as police continue searching for Jacobsen, a school official said, meaning that classes are continuing as usual.

Anyone with information about Jacobsen is asked to call 911 or Trumansburg police at 607-387-6505.

A number of agencies have been assisting in the search, including Trumansburg Police, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Park Police, New York State Police, Ithaca Police, Encon Police, tracking dogs from the IPD and a NYSP helicopter.

Tompkins County Sheriff’s Deputies search for Andrew Jacobsen Tuesday night.
Tompkins County Sheriff’s Deputies search for Andrew Jacobsen Tuesday night.

Update: Around midnight, multiple police vehicles were assembled on Rabbit Run Road as at least two helicopters flew overhead. It remains unclear if the suspect is in custody but the large police presence in Trumansburg was dispersed by at least 1 a.m. Multiple police agencies, including the New York State Police and Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department, have declined to comment on the case. The Trumansburg Police Department has not returned request for comment.

ITHACA, N.Y. — Police are searching the Trumansburg area for a man who escaped from custody Tuesday, a source familiar with the investigation said.

A person with direct knowledge of the incident, who asked not to be named fearing retaliation, said the man was taken into custody for a probation violation and possibly other charges. Then, the man managed to escape after being taken to the Trumansburg Police Department on 5 Elm Street. The details of his escape vary, but the suspect still appears to be on the loose as of about 10 p.m.

New York State Police, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department, the Ithaca Police Department and Trumansburg police officers are searching areas near Smith Woods Forrest, at 8825 Falls Road, and are both assembled at different locations near the woods and scouring the streets.

A police officer not authorized to speak about the incident said the suspect is not thought to be armed.

This is a developing story. 

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.