Police have recaptured a 20-year-old murder suspect after he managed to escape from the Atlanta international airport, one of the busiest and largest in the world, while still wearing shackles.
The suspect, J’ssan Carlos Strover, had his hands in cuffs in front of his body while also being shackled at the waist and barefoot when he was being escorted by a pair of Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff’s deputies at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, reports said on Thursday.
Authorities said that Strover strongarmed his way past the two deputies after they removed his leg restraints to walk him downstairs to a rental car outlet, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“At the time, there were two Maricopa County deputies with him. At the point that they proceeded out, they removed the leg restraints to escort him down the steps, and at that point he pushed past them,” said Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat.
The reports say that Stover was wanted in Maricopa County for several charges including first-degree murder, attempt to commit first-degree murder, and aggravated assault. In particular, he’s wanted in the alleged shooting death of one man and the wounding of another at a Phoenix bar during a Feb. 19 incident.
U.S. Marshals had located and arrested Strover on April 12 in the Atlanta area on additional charges. When he escaped, he was in transit back to Arizona.
Police had published photos of Strover, who is black, showing that he has the word “Risk” tattooed on the front of his neck. They further described him as being 6′ 3″ tall and weighing about 150 lbs. He was wearing a blue jacket with a white t-shirt and black sweatpants at the time of his escape.
Authorities said upon escaping he immediately entered a wooded area near the 4000 block of Global Gateway Connector in College Park, Ga., which is near the airport. Several dozen officers from a number of law enforcement agencies immediately began searching for Strover using dogs and helicopters.
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A Twitter post from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office noted that authorities recaptured Strover about 9 p.m. Arizona time on Thursday.
A reporter and photojournalist with WSB-TV were on the scene to film the capture, the Daily Mail reported.
“Reporter Matt Johnson said he and Joe Booker were in their live truck when Strover ran by and into some bushes,” the outlet said, adding that the pair then alerted police and filmed the arrest.
Sgt. Monica Bretado with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said that MCSO Sheriff Paul Penzone made contact with the Fulton County sheriff and will be “initiating an internal review of the process and incident to determine factors contributing to this escape,” Arizona Central reported.
In mid-February, Phoenix police officers were called to the scene of a bar on reports of a fight, according to department spokeswoman Sgt. Mercedes Fortune. Upon arrival, officers discovered Walter Wood, 32, who had suffered gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Another victim, identified as a 34-year-old male, was also shot during the melee but Fortune said that his injuries were not life-threatening.
It’s unclear exactly how Strover managed to force his way past deputies at the Atlanta airport, but Maricopa County Sheriff officials said that an internal investigation will be conducted in the coming weeks.