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Prisoner back in custody after escaping transport vehicle on I-95 in Waltham

Escaped prisoner arrested after manhunt in Waltham
Escaped prisoner arrested after manhunt in Waltham 02:57

WALTHAM - An escaped prisoner was taken back into custody in Waltham after a manhunt Monday night.

State Police said 20-year-old Victor De Moura-Pereira of Framingham escaped from a Plymouth County Sheriff's transport vehicle on I-95 south near Exit 41 at about 6 p.m.

He was found about an hour later in the area of 2nd Ave in Waltham. A man called 911 after the prisoner approached him in a parking lot.

Victor De Moura-Pereira
Victor De Moura-Pereira was arrested after escaping a prisoner transport van in Waltham, State Police said.  CBS Boston

"I noticed immediately that he was wearing handcuffs, and I looked a little more carefully and it's like heavy duty shackles and like a chain around his waist," said Sam, who called 911.

"He had a slight accent so I couldn't tell exactly what he was saying but I think he was asking to get in my truck or get in my van," Sam said. "I just kind of threw my hands up and was like I'm not helping you man."

Sam did offer the prisoner a cigarette, and that seemed to hold him in place long enough for police to arrive.

"I think that me giving him a smoke and not challenging him directly or saying 'hey stop', I don't think that he considered me a threat to him," said Sam. 

How the prisoner was able to escape in Waltham 

The Plymouth County Sheriff says De Moura-Pereira "found and exploited a vulnerability" in the design of the transport vehicle and gained access to an emergency exit. 

Sheriff Joseph McDonald Jr. said the vehicle was at a near stop due to emergency roadwork on the highway at the time. 

"Fortunately, he was apprehended quickly," McDonald said. "In an abundance of caution we are taking this prisoner transportation vehicle out of service."

The search involved officers on the ground with K9s, the State Police Air Wing and drone unit.

De Moura-Pereira was arrested by Framingham police on Sunday for multiple counts of assault and battery on a police officer. He has been transferred to the custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement because he is currently subject to a detainer placed on him by the agency. 

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