Prisoner who fled sheriff's van to face new charges
Published Wednesday, February 15, 2012 4:55PM AST
A prisoner who fled a moving sheriff's van Wednesday morning will face charges in connection with the escape.
Const. Brian Palmeter says 48-year-old Thomas Arnold Jones is facing new charges of escaping unlawful custody and property damage after today's events in Dartmouth.
Jones was being transported to the courthouse in Dartmouth when he escaped around 9:30 a.m. Police say he damaged the vehicle during his escape and then fled on foot in the area of Mount Hope Road.
Police say he was in the van with other offenders as sheriffs sat in the front seat. There has been no official explanation as to how he managed to slip out without raising suspicions.
A CTV News viewer happened to be travelling behind the sheriff's van this morning and snapped a picture as Jones fled out the back of the vehicle and made his escape.
The photo submitted to CTV appears to show him slipping out the back door of the vehicle, ducking down to avoid detection while the van was stopped on the highway.
CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell, reporting from Dartmouth, said police were searching an area around the courthouse and nearby hospital Wednesday morning.
"This is very much a developing situation, a very fluid situation. Police are literally chasing through back yards, running through back yards, hopping over fences trying to find this prisoner," she said around noon.
Hounsell told CTV Atlantic she spoke with a woman who had a terrifying encounter with the escapee.
"She was on her way to the Dollarama and before she could get out of her car this prisoner came up to her car and tried to get in," Hounsell said.
"She of course was very frightened, didn't know what was happening at the time but was able to lock the doors of her car. He stopped and said 'oh' and then took off."
Jones is back in custody after he called police and made arrangements to be picked up. Officers apprehended him around 1:30 p.m. on Marilyn Drive and transported him to Dartmouth provincial court without incident.
Police say Jones was to be sentenced today on a break and enter charge. He is also facing a number of other charges, including assault, unlawful confinement, arson, uttering threats and breach of conditions from incidents that occurred in 2011.
The Nova Scotia Justice Department has launched an internal investigation into the matter and will look at whether all policies and procedures were followed.
Jones will appear in court to face the new charges at a later date.