NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - Officials say a handcuffed man in police custody was able to jump out of a moving, trooper's vehicle and escape. He eluded investigators for more than 12 hours before he was finally caught.
Michelle Anaya with State Police said troopers searched for Phillip Alonzo Robinson, Jr., 31, along Interstate 64 in Newport News throughout the day Friday. Prior to his arrest, Robinson was wanted on several felony, misdemeanor and probation violations.
At approximately 11 a.m. Friday, Robinson was spotted by U.S. Marshals. When troopers arrived on scene, they found Robinson who tried to flee. After a short foot pursuit, he was arrested and taken into a trooper's vehicle, according to Anaya.
Robinson was handcuffed and seat belted in a locked, police vehicle. Anaya said Robinson somehow was able to undo his seatbelt, unlock the door and jump out of the car while it was moving. No word on how fast the car was going, but Robinson jumped out barefoot and handcuffed.
He reportedly told officers he "wasn't going to jail."
Officers gave chase. Right about that time, Robert Narh came out of his home to see what was going on.
"The police officer was muddy," Narh said. "It was like he struggled with somebody and then the person ran away. He asked me if I had seen somebody with handcuffs."
Law enforcement officials from State Police and Newport News Police used canines and helicopters in the search Friday afternoon.
"It's a concern," Newport News resident Mary Smith said. "I would be very nervous if I had to go out tonight. That's what I don't understand. How could he get away handcuffed in the patrol car."
State Police say Robinson, Jr. was taken into custody at 11:45 p.m. Friday at 510 Bellfield Drive. He was taken to the Newport News City Jail.
Friday's pursuit stemmed from a speeding incident from last Sunday, when Robinson eluded police while driving 120 mph on city streets.
Troopers ended that chase to keep residents safe, and took out warrants for Robinson's arrest on charges of reckless driving and eluding police.
Robinson is described as a black male standing 6'2" and weighing 240 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, blue jeans and black socks with no shoes. He is handcuffed from behind.
The Marshal Service wanted Robinson for violations as well.
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