David Blaine may be able to escape a rotating gyroscope and perform a variety of endurance stunts, but the street magician has never put his tricks to escape capture from the police—that we know of, at least.
That accomplishment belongs to David M. Watson II, a 28-year-old maximum-security inmate who managed to escape himself from his restraints while being transported to a mental hospital in Jessup, MD. from Wicomico County Detention Center.
Watson, who bears a passing resemblance to actor Josh Hartnett, was convicted in Delaware of attempted murder after he fired into the homes of several police officers in 2012, and was sentenced to serve over 100 years in prison with no possibility of parole. The convict, whose body is covered in tattoos, including the word “evil” on the back of his neck, was deemed mentally unable to stand trial by a judge in 2014. He has been subject to psychiatric evaluations since then.
Watson, who was wearing handcuffs affixed to a waist chain and well as leg irons, knocked down one of his guards when they opened the door of the transport van that was carrying him. He promptly ran into the woods. Police later recovered the restraints, which also included an object called a “black box” that’s designed to seal the locks of the handcuffs to prevent tampering. The items were found near the van, along with some clothing.
Police release photos of escaped prisoner David M. Watson's tattoos. If you see him, call 911. pic.twitter.com/mQ7NVUPirD
— Howard County Police (@HCPDNews) April 28, 2017
In a report by the Baltimore Sun, the county’s corrections officer George Kaloroumakis said that video footage showed that the correctional officers followed proper procedures to apply Watson’s restraints when they removed him from the Wicomico jail. The way Watson managed to Houdini himself out of his restraints is still being investigated.
Following Watson’s escape two days ago, Howard County police suspended the search, which involved K-9 units and helicopters with thermal imaging.
Police are asking for residents of Jessup and its surroundings to check their vehicles and property, as he is suspected to still be within the area. Police have upped the bounty to $10,000 from $5,000 for any information that leads to his capture.
This post has been updated with new details about the convict.