Dashcam captures moment prisoner escapes police van on Toowoomba Range

| 28.03,19. 04:12 AM |

Dashcam captures moment prisoner escapes police van on Toowoomba Range

Photo: Traffic came to a standstill before the prisoner made his break. (Supplied: Queensland Police Service)

A prisoner has managed to escape from the back of a police van while handcuffed, outrunning officers to be on the loose for nearly an hour.

The 29-year-old man was being taken to Brisbane when he broke free on the Toowoomba Range about 8:30am Wednesday, sending nearby schools into lockdown.

Acting Inspector Jason Hopgood said six prisoners were in the van when one of them began "violently kicking the door".

"As they stopped the vehicle, the [man] was able to get out … and escape from police," he said.

Acting Inspector Hopgood said two schools were placed in lockdown for up to 15 minutes, as members of the public called in about the man's whereabouts.

The dog squad tracked him to a house in East Toowoomba.

He attempted another escape by fleeing through the window but his efforts were thwarted when he was arrested in the backyard, police said.

Police are also investigating if the man tried to access "a number of places and vehicles" during his time on the run.

'Lock still in place'

Acting Insp Hopgood said the man — who is on remand for a number of property offences and was being escorted for a future court date at the time — suffered a minor puncture bite to his hand when he was arrested by the police dog squad.

Charges are yet to be laid.

Acting Inspector Hopgood said police would review their procedures to work out how he managed to break free of the pod inside the van.

"Certainly it's not something that happens very often at all and certainly we don't want it to happen at all," he said.

"The lock was still in place."

Driver catches escape on dashcam

Stuart McGavin was on his way home after dropping off his children at school when he captured the escape on his dashcam.

"I saw the van in front of me, I thought it was a delivery van with the back door slightly open," he said.

"Then as I was getting closer, I noticed a guy kick the door open and jump out."

He said motorists were shocked to see the incident.

"I didn't realise it was a police van, you don't expect somebody to jump out the back of it and go running towards your car," he said.

"[The police officers] knew what was happening, they were really on top of him as it was happening but it looked like he might have been just too fast for them.

"As he passed me, he weaved in and out of traffic and through the other cars but I thought they got him.

"So they must have been pretty close to it.

"Really the only reason it would have happened was because of the hold-up on the Range and the traffic queue, otherwise they would have been going too fast for him to jump out."


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