Jail Escapee Pleads Guilty

Phillip Ruddy

Phillip Ruddy

ELIZABETH – Phillip Ruddy, who fled the Union County Jail earlier this summer, pled guilty in Union County Superior Court this morning to one count of third degree escape, according to Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

Under the plea, he will face up to three years in prison when sentenced on Nov. 18, according to Assistant Prosecutor Ann Rubin, who handled the case.


On June 29, Ruddy and another inmate were emptying trash in the plaza when he ran off, officials said. The corrections officer supervising the pair secured the other inmate and radioed for backup.

Ruddy was captured a week later in Newark after his father, who is on parole, notified his parole officer that Ruddy was at a house on Eagle Street in Newark, said Rubin. Officers went to the location and found Ruddy hiding in the basement.

Ruddy, 22, of Rahway was first admitted to the jail on June 1 for a parole violation and due to his low risk status, at the time, was put to work at the jail complex. One of his duties included supervised trash removal on Elizabethtown Plaza.

During the investigation it was revealed that Ruddy’s uncle, Charles Grecco, 28, of Rahway, had several telephone conversations with the inmate in advance of the escape. He then picked up Ruddy around the corner from the jail on the night of the escape.

Grecco was arrested on July 30. Last week he pled guilty to third degree facilitating an escape. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 20 and Grecco faces up to three years in jail, prosecutors said.

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