Murder suspect escapes prison van during stop at Indiana McDonald's

by Joel Abbott · Dec 16th, 2020 11:46 am

Last Updated Dec 21st, 2020 at 10:06 am

A Chicago murder suspect being transported to Indiana escaped when his driver stopped at a McDonald's drive-thru.

The prisoner vehicle from REDI Transports of Green Bay was carrying Leon Taylor, 22, from Chicago to Lake County, Indiana, when the agent decided to stop at the fast-food restaurant in Gary. While in the drive-thru, the agent said Taylor asked for the window to be lowered before escaping.

Security footage at the restaurant, however, showed Taylor escaping out the door.

"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," said Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez, Jr. "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."

Taylor was reportedly wearing handcuffs, a leg restraint, and a chain around his waist at the time of his escape, although Martinez indicated Taylor may have been manipulating the leg restraint during the trip.

The suspect – who has been previously charged in multiple armed robberies – was arrested for the murder of 52-year-old Daniel Nitzche in East Chicago after robbing him at gunpoint.

Lake County officers began a manhunt shortly after Taylor's escape, which included a helicopter and a K-9 unit. As of Wednesday, the suspect remained at large and is considered dangerous.


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