Two prisoners in Quebec, Canada, attempted a prison escape using a helicopter. The jailbreak occurred on Sunday afternoon, but police are reporting that they have four individuals in custody -- the two escaped inmates, as well as the pilot and another individual involved in the outbreak.
Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau, 36, and Danny Provencal, 33, were arrested on Sunday evening, around 8:30 p.m., reports CTV News. The two inmates attempted a daring helicopter escape from a jail located near the town of Saint Jerome.
Quebec provincial police arrested Hudon-Barbeau and two other accomplices near the municipality of Chertsey, while Provencal surrendered an hour later after police found the escaped inmate in a shack, reports CTV News. The jail had received complaints about overcrowding as well as a lack of staff during the weekend.
The escape was a daring feat normally reserved for movies. According to eyewitnesses, the helicopter entered the prison and hovered as Hudon-Barbeau and Provencal used a rope to escape, reports the Associated Press. The pilot flew the two escaped inmates to the city of Mont-Tremblant. While the two inmates fled, the unidentified pilot remained at the scene and was taken by police to a local hospital. The pilot was treated for shock and police believe he is an “important eyewitness,” notes the AP.
According to 98.5 FM, a Montreal radio station, the station received a call from a man who claimed he was Hudon-Barbeau. The individual made a statement about not wanting to return to prison as well as saying, “They won't let me be. They put me back in prison for nothing,” reports the AP.
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The helicopter escape was the first Yves Galarneau, a correctional services manager that oversees the prison the two inmates escaped from, had ever seen. The AP also reports that the Saint-Jerome jail had experienced some recent violence as a riot involving close to a dozen inmates broke out last month.
There have been other famous prison escapes using helicopters. Most famously, Joel David Kaplan became the first individual to break out of a prison using a helicopter in 1971. Kaplan, a businessman from New York, was being held in a Mexican prison on a murder charge when he used a helicopter to escape. Kaplan fled to California, and the Mexican authorities did not extradite the escaped inmate. An accomplice in Kaplan’s helicopter escape fled to Guatemala.