Wanted fugitive is found hiding inside hot tub full of water at Colonie woman’s home

hot tub.PNG

Friday, police found a wanted fugitive in hot water. He was hiding in a hot tub.

Police say Rafiek Yussef is an illegal immigrant who had a federal warrant. They say he ran into a Colonie woman's yard to get away from police.

You can only guess Judy Banach’s surprise when she spotted him taking a dip.

“There was this man, fully clothed, standing up in the hot tub,” Banach said.

Banach had just gotten out of bed, didn't even have her coffee, so this was hard to process.

“He was like drenched. After the fact, it's kind of funny. It’s the last thing you'd expect to see. He was just standing there, the police had him surrounded,” Banach said.

Authorities had been out front, looking at Banach’s shed, which someone had broken. That was the first surprise.

“I said, ‘What’s going on?’ and they said, ‘We're looking for a fugitive’,” Banach said.

But not even police expected to find him hiding in hot water. On chance, one of the officers decided to lift the lid, and there he was.

“That scared me, I wanted to know what he was wanted for,” Banach said.

Colonie Police Lt. Robert Winn says police started chasing Rafiek Yussef around 8 a.m. Friday, after someone called to report they'd spotted a wanted man at the nearby Cumberland Farms.

“The ATF was looking for him in regard to the fact that he's a material witness in a felony case that they have, and it’s also been reported to us that he’s a previously deported felon, an illegal alien,” Winn said.

Banach says she believes Yussef had been hiding in her hot tub for at least a half hour.

“I’m surprised he didn't pass out in the hot tub, I mean it was 103 degrees,” Banach said.

She's relieved police were there, when he was discovered.

“I still can’t believe he was in there,” Banach said.

The federal warrant for Yussef was out of Ohio. Tonight he's in the Albany County Jail. In addition to the federal case against him, he's now charged with trespassing and damaging Banach's property.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off