Woman’s escape attempt doesn’t get off the ground in Pawtucket

Pawtucket police officers responded to Memorial Hospital in their city after a woman in Central Falls Police custody tried to escape. (Julianne Peixoto/WPRI)

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) – A woman in police custody tried – and failed – to give officers the slip Saturday afternoon.

The ill-fated escape attempt happened shortly after noon at Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket, when the woman, who was in the custody of the Central Falls Police Department at the time, was allowed to use one of the hospital’s bathrooms.

Central Falls Police Chief James Mendonca told Eyewitness News that once inside the bathroom, the woman attempted to climb up into the dropped ceiling.

The police officer “reacted quickly to prevent her from getting fully into the crawl space,” Mendonca said. The woman got partially up into it before the officer re-secured her.

Police identified her as 28-year-old Alyssa Maurelli of Central Falls, who had been picked up on a warrant for failing to appear for a court hearing, possession of a weapon other than a firearm, and misdemeanor conspiracy.

Mendonca said he couldn’t recall a suspect trying to escape by climbing up into a ceiling in his nearly 27 years in law enforcement.

“I think I may have seen this once or twice in the movies,” he said.