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Christopher E. Block

Block

A convicted rapist who removed a parole monitoring device was captured in Skaneateles Friday. 

The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and Onondaga County 911 confirmed that Christopher Block, 61, was in custody after being found at the Skaneateles Country Club. 

Thomas Mailey, a DOCCS spokesman, said Block was apprehended at 8:30 a.m. by a team of law enforcement agencies, including DOCCS' Office of Special Investigations, parole officers, New York State Police, a K9 and trackers from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and local police. 

"Block will now be lodged at a local jail and a hearing before an administrative law judge will be scheduled to address his absconding which is a violation of the conditions of his parole," Mailey said. 

State and local law enforcement agencies had been searching for Block after he removed the monitoring bracelet Wednesday night in Skaneateles. He was issued the device after being released from state prison in December. 

Block was convicted in 1984 on numerous charges, including two counts of first-degree rape and two counts of second-degree kidnapping. He was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. 

Block was denied parole before being conditionally released by statute in May 2017. He returned to prison in November 2017 for violating his conditional parole and was ordered to remain in prison until his December 2018 release. 

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Before confirming Block's capture, Mailey said Friday that the agency issued a warrant for Block. The warrant was posted in the National Crime Information Center at 10:05 p.m. Wednesday. Two minutes later, DOCCS sent a bulletin with Block's photo to the Skaneateles and Syracuse police departments. 

Mailey added that a Skaneateles police dispatcher contacted DOCCS requesting the agency to send the bulletin to other law enforcement agencies, including the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office. 

In a statement, Mailey described the search for Block as "intense" and "comprised of multiple law enforcement agencies working together around the clock to find this individual." K9 units from the New York State Police and Cayuga County Sheriff's Office assisted the search. A K9 unit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation was added to the search Friday morning. 

On Thursday, some central New York law enforcement leaders expressed frustration with how communication in the Block search was handled. DOCCS did not release any information to the public until around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Officials, including Cayuga County Sheriff Brian Schenck, also said they were getting little information about the search that could have enabled their officers to assist.

On Friday, Schenck posted a statement to his office's Facebook page pledging to work with state officials to improve communications in the future.

"Thank you to the officers that were able to take Christopher Block into custody today and those that worked tirelessly on this case. Moving forward I will be working to try and partner with the NY State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to improve communication between our offices as well as strengthen our partnerships. Our local Parole Officers in Cayuga and Onondaga Counties have a difficult job and they have always been willing to partner with our local agencies. The issues with the lack of communication to local law enforcement and the public related to this incident appear to be at an administrative level. We can do better, and I hope to be part of the solution."

Schenck also said state Sen. Bob Antonacci reached out to help in the effort to address communications issues.

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