A handcuffed suspect in Florida escaped police custody and fled to a Pensacola Home Depot, where he was spotted shortly after shopping for bolt-cutters.
"He was caught after he stole some items from a [hardware store] to remove the cuffs with," Sena Maddison, a spokeswoman with the Escambia County Sheriff's Office told Weird News.
Michael Jay Scott, 19, was first arrested by police in Pensacola early Monday morning, when he was involved in a disturbance with an unidentified homeowner whom he had previously been warned not to have contact with, according to Maddison.
"He engaged in a fight with the homeowner and upon deputies' arrival, [he] fled on foot," Maddison said. "He was caught after a brief foot chase."
Scott received several injuries to his face and body during the alleged fight. As a result, the arresting officers transported him to Sacred Heart Hospital for a medical examination. It was during his hospital stay, police said, that Scott sneaked out of his room and escaped the building undetected.
Multiple law enforcement officers and K-9 units were dispatched to the area to search for Scott. His whereabouts remained a mystery until roughly 10 a.m., when staff at a Home Depot about a mile from the hospital called police to report suspicious activity.
"While en-route, dispatch advised that a suspicious person was trying to use bolt cutters to cut off handcuffs," deputy Michael Williams wrote in his police report.
After allegedly failing to cut off the cuffs, Scott, apparently sensing he might have attracted some unwanted attention, fled out the back of the store. The fugitive then scaled a perimeter fence and ran into a local neighborhood, police said.
Contacted by Weird News, a Home Depot manager confirmed that the bizarre bolt cutter incident took place inside his store, but declined to comment further.
Police said a K-9 unit managed to track Scott to a nearby camper he had allegedly broken into. When police took him into custody, he was still wearing the handcuffs that had been placed on his wrists earlier that day. Authorities also found a small nail file and a screwdriver -- items Scott had allegedly stolen from Home Depot to try to get the cuffs off, Maddison said.
Scott was transported back to Sacred Heart Hospital for treatment. This time, however, he remained in the custody of law enforcement. Scott was treated, released and then transported to Escambia County Jail. He has been charged with felony larceny and burglary, as well as misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest and damage to property.