Escaped prisoner eludes police

Escaped prisoner eludes police

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The manhunt for an escaped prisoner was called off after he eluded police Tuesday in Mid-City.

The escapee, identified as Lorenzo Conner, was being transported from East Feliciana Parish to the Orleans Parish Courthouse when he escaped a transport van. He was scheduled to be in court on charges of stalking and battery of a corrections officer.

The transport vehicle belonged to the Department of Health and Hospitals. Conner, 24, allegedly shattered a window on the driver's side of the van to escape custody.

A manhunt involving multiple agencies lasted several hours. Crews focused their search efforts at South Genois Street and Gravier Street. Handcuffs were found discarded at the scene.

U.S. Marshals, Louisiana State Police and New Orleans police searched the area before calling off the search around 10:30 a.m.

Conner was also in jail on at least one second-degree murder charge. He has not gone to trial in that case. He has a long criminal history and a string of mental competency hearings.

Neighbors are concerned that the active search ended without Conner in custody.

"I see the van that this guy was transported in and the glass is kicked out," a resident who did not want to be identified said. "I'm still trying to figure out myself, if this guy is handcuffed how could he kick the glass out to escape."

Now, the neighbor says she won't feel safe until Conner is caught and taken off the streets.

"Something should be done. We have to walk around here he could try to get in (or) break in. We have kids nearby."

The U.S. Marshals service is now taking the lead in trying to find Conner. DHH is investigating to determine if there was a breach in protocol during the transportation of Connor from the Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System.

Crimestoppers is offering up to $2,500 for information that leads to an arrest. Callers do not have to give their name or testify to receive the cash reward. Citizens with information should call the Crimestoppers Hotline at 504-822-1111 or contact Louisiana State Police Troop B at 504-471-2775.


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