March 18, 2013 - 09:58 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Two Quebec inmates climbed up a rope into a hovering helicopter to make a daylight escape on Sunday, March 17 from a jail northwest of Montreal, the authorities said, according to The Associated Press.
The Quebec provincial police said later on Sunday that they had arrested three people about 30 miles north of the Saint-Jérôme jail, from which the two inmates escaped. The police said an operation was under way in Chertsey, Quebec, but did not specify who was arrested.
Earlier on Sunday, the police received a call from the staff at the Saint-Jérôme jail, reporting the escape around 2:20 pm, said Sgt. Benoit Richard of the Quebec provincial police.
The jail’s warden told the police that two inmates, identified as Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau, 36, and Danny Provencal, 33, had grabbed a rope dropped from the helicopter to make their getaway, Sergeant Richard said.
The police tracked down the helicopter used in the escape on Sunday afternoon to Mont-Tremblant, about 53 miles from the jail, but only the chopper’s pilot was still at the scene. The pilot was taken to a hospital, Sergeant Richard said.
“He’s going to be questioned later on by investigators, within the next couple of hours,” said Sergeant Richard, adding that it was too early to say what the pilot’s role was in the escape.
A Montreal radio station, 98.5 FM, said it received a call on Sunday from a man claiming to be Mr. Hudon-Barbeau, who said he was “ready to die” as he tried to evade the police.
The Saint-Jérôme jail, located about 37 miles northwest of Montreal, experienced a mini-riot by about a dozen prisoners a little over a month ago.
At that time, the police were called in to secure the outside of the jail, which holds about 480 inmates, and the jail’s staff used pepper spray to disperse the mob.