Police release surveillance footage of prisoner escape in Gary

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GARY, Ind. – Police in Northwest Indiana released surveillance footage Tuesday after a murder suspect escaped from an SUV in a McDonald’s drive-thru.

Leon Taylor, 22, was being transported Monday from Texas to Lake County to face a murder charge.

In the video, he escapes from an SUV, contracted by REDI Transports, in a McDonald’s drive-thru. He somehow gets free from a leg brace and takes off across the street.

Taylor was wearing a grey hoodie with an additional black hoodie underneath, black Puma tennis shoes and black jeans.

He is 6′, 162 lbs., has hazel eyes and brown hair. Taylor is wanted on a murder charge in East Chicago and is known to frequent Gary, East Chicago and Hammond.

At this time, the search for Taylor is ongoing. Anyone with information on Taylor’s whereabouts is asked to call 9-1-1 immediately. He is considered to be dangerous.

Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. criticized the REDI Transport driver in the following statement.

“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 Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr.

“In the first video clip we provided,  about 11 seconds in,  the suspect appears to be struggling with his leg brace, and no shackles were used,” Sheriff Martinez said. “We believe shackles could have prevented the suspect from getting away,” he said.  “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.

“After acquiring these surveillance videos, Lake County Sheriff’s Department investigators were able to reveal conflicting statements made to our officers by the driver,” Sheriff Martinez said.  “This driver initially told our officers the suspect jumped out of a window, but the video clearly shows him exiting through a door to the vehicle.  We are looking into this matter as part of an extensive review of the case.”

“I find it appalling that REDI Transports failed to use appropriate caution and may have put the public at risk.”

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