An attempted murder suspect who escaped police custody was buried up to his armpits by nature’s trap and needed to be rescued.
A fully shackled Christopher Pray, 39, bolted from an Oregon psychiatric hospital Wednesday, but his short-lived freedom turned into a floundering plea for his life when he was swallowed by a muddy Portland pond, Oregon State Police said.
Videos and images showed firefighters from the Portland Fire and Rescue pulling Pray to safety with ropes from atop a ladder that was suspended over the small body of water.
Pray gave firefighters a bogus name, but a hospital employee recognized the escapee and called law enforcement, according to state police.
How Pray managed to escape police custody Wednesday is still under investigation, Oregon State Police said.
He was restrained with leg shackles, a belly chain and handcuffs, but he still managed to slip out of the hospital undetected and to steal a van he was transported in while the driver was outside, according to police.
When Pray was first on the loose, law enforcement told the community to watch out for an “extremely dangerous” escapee.
He’s charged with a laundry list of violent crimes, including attempted aggravated murder, robbery, assault and a felony with possession of a firearm in connection with a March 2022 incident.
He allegedly nearly killed a woman in Multnomah County, Oregon, during a robbery. He is also facing charges connected to a violent domestic dispute where he is accused of attacking her with a tool.
Pray was in the Oregon State Hospital in Salem earlier this week after he was found unfit to proceed with trial, according to court records reviewed by the Associated Press.
Shortly after he was admitted, Pray had “an altercation with another patient,” state hospital spokesperson Amber Shoebridge said in a statement to news outlets.
Then, he made his daring and improbable escape that ended in the muddy pond on Friday.
Pray has a habit of running from the cops. He attempted to flee in criminal cases in June and August of 2022.