Law enforcement agencies in Indiana are currently searching for an inmate who escaped from a prisoner transport van at a fast-food drive-thru.
According to NWI Times, an agent working for REDI Transports of Green Bay, Wisconsin was transporting 22-year-old Leon Taylor from Texas back to Indiana.
When the transport van stopped at a fast-food restaurant in Gary, Ind., the driver claimed Taylor jumped out as the window of the van was briefly opened.
Crystal Cook, president of REDI Transports, confirmed the driver’s claim about Taylor’s escape from the van window. Cook also said that Taylor was “restrained in a belly chain with handcuffs and a leg brace at the time, but still managed to get away.”
Since there are a number of abandoned buildings in the area, local authorities believe he may have hidden after escaping. There is also speculation that someone may be helping him.
Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. has also raised questions about the account of what happened. After viewing the surveillance footage, he criticized the transport company’s procedures and policies.
“After watching this video, I am highly disturbed and disappointed by the procedures the private transportation driver used during the transfer of this suspect to our jail,” said Martinez.
Martinez also noted that while Taylor could be seen trying to ditch his leg brace, he did not appear to be shackled when he escaped. “We also believe the suspect may have been manipulating his leg brace during the trip and was apparently continuing to disable the device when he exited the SUV,” the sheriff said.
Nova Carmichael, a DoorDash driver at the restaurant, shared details about everything that transpired after Taylor’s escape. “I just seen a huge commotion – police everywhere,” Carmichael said. “They had three or four helicopters in the sky, they had tanks rolling down – so they were really trying to catch this guy.”