Suspect Slips Cuffs and Flees in Patrol Cruiser

By  | 

Authorities were searching for a man who escaped his handcuffs during a traffic stop and then fled in a patrol car with an assault rifle on board.

As of last night, 39-year-old Fidel Perez had been on the lam for more than 24 hours.

Sheriff Jim Kaelin says police found the abandoned patrol car about 30 minutes after the traffic stop, but a semi-automatic rifle was missing from the car's trunk.

During the Wednesday evening traffic stop, a deputy found what he suspected was stolen copper wire in Perez's trunk and summoned a supervisor for backup.

Authorities believe Perez managed to slip the handcuffs under his feet and climb into the front seat of the patrol car while the deputies were dealing with another suspect.

The car still had the keys in the ignition when it was recovered, including a key to the handcuffs.