Neighbors concerned after handcuffed man escapes police car

Police still searching for escaped suspect

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond police are searching for a prisoner who escaped a police vehicle Monday afternoon in the Carver neighborhood.

Police say the prisoner, Ameer Ali, 38, of Newport News, fled from a police SUV while being taken to the Justice Center.

“He was arrested for an outstanding drug charge from another jurisdiction at the Greyhound Bus Terminal and was being transported to the Justice Center when he kicked his way out of the vehicle in the 800 block of West Catherine Street and fled on foot,” police said in a release.

Police confirmed he was arrested on an outstanding drug warrant from the Tidewater area.

The escape occurred Monday at about 3:38 p.m. at the intersection of Leigh and Belvidere Streets. Ali was handcuffed, but was able to move his hands to the front of his body, unbuckle the seat belt, unlatch the side door and escape.

Police searching for the escaped prisoner.
Police searching for the escaped prisoner. (Source: NBC12)

Ali is 5 feet 11 inches tall, 215 pounds and has short hair and a beard. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans.

A Ring doorbell camera capture Ali escaping through the neighborhood and shows that he was able to change hand positions, from being cuffed in the back, to the front.

“Earlier today I was walking, (and) I noticed police up and down but I didn’t know what was going on. I hope they find him,” Steven Tyler said.

Police brought in three canine units in to help search for Ali.

“I saw the dogs. They were coming across the empty blocks over there and they were on the hunt for him,” Jason Forrest, who lives in the area, said.

On Tuesday, it was a far calmer scene in the neighborhood than the day before, where police even searched some homes.

Dexter Superville says his and his neighbor’s homes was searched by police Monday evening.

Police search for escaped prisoner in Richmond

He says he originally wasn’t aware of the escapee, but has since taken the steps to protect himself and those he lives by.

“I’ve talked to my neighbors. I gave them tips: walk with flashlights, pepper spray. Protect yourself, walk in groups," Superville said. “If there’s a guy that just escaped, he’s probably going to be desperate, so he’s looking for something to get him somewhere.”

Other people say they’ve changed their daily routines out of fear of encountering Ali.

"I skipped going on my run this morning by myself, Sarah Lyon said.

She said the red and blue lights flashed through her windows when she was putting her kids to bed Monday, and police dogs sniffed around her home, adding that she’s not taking any chances.

“Just being a little extra careful about letting the kids play in the yard, or things like that until it gets sorted. I don’t really know what to expect," Lyon said.

Officials have lifted the roadblocks and increased patrols in the area.

Officers say they will review the incident to determine if the transporting officer had followed proper transport protocols.

If you see him, call 911 immediately and do not approach him.

Copyright 2019 WWBT. All rights reserved.