Video released of helicopter jailbreak
Three years ago this week two men escaped from the St. Jerome detention centre – now the video of their jailbreak is being made public.
It shows the helicopter just after it landed on a roof, and Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau and Dany Provencal already climbing up a rope dangling from the aircraft.
When the pair cannot climb any higher they tie loops in the rope and stick their feet through the holes.
The helicopter then takes off, ripping off a security camera in the process.
The six-minute video also shows that no guards made any attempt to stop the pair during their escape.
Their flight only lasted a few minutes, and the pair were dropped off in a nearby residential area where a car was waiting.
The kidnapped pilot was later found safe and sound, and all of the men were arrested in a matter of hours.
Earlier this year Hudon-Barbeau pleaded guilty to the escape, while the other escapee, Dany Provencal, pleaded guilty in November.
The man who planned the job, Bill Beaudoin, pleaded guilty in January.
Steven Mathieu Marchisio pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
As brazen as this seems, a similar escape involving three drug traffickers took place just over a year later, in Orsainville outside of Quebec City.
In that case it took two weeks to find the inmates who were hiding out in a Montreal condo.
In both cases, the guards didn't shoot, because those inside the prison walls are not armed.
An internal investigation into the escapes revealed little was done to prevent the second.
As part of a pilot project, guards in two prisons are being searched routinely in an effort to keep cell phones out, and Quebec has put physical barriers over some small courtyards, as it’s done elsewhere.
“There are other measures that could have been taken- a mesh, a security mesh, could have been used on the court yard to prevent them from even attempting that escape,” said prison security consultant Colin Lobo.
The prison guard union is calling for tighter security inside, including routine inmate searches in all 18 detention centres and closer monitoring for dangerous suspects.
All but one of the inmates who escaped have ties to the Hells Angels and were awaiting trial for serious crimes.
Public Security Minister MartinCouiteux says he's working on it.
“Our procedures within the jail have been improved, so (an escape is) less likely with the recommendations that we've implemented,” he said.