Escaped prisoner swooped on by police

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Armed police looking for an escaped prisoner rammed a vehicle with suspects inside.

Officers from Lancashire Police and Greater Manchester Police carried out a strike on a vehicle on the A6 in Galgate, near Lancaster University on Sunday afternoon.

An eyewitness and Galgate resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “Police were all over the place.

“There were at least 14 cars and bikes that descended on the village.

“They rammed the car with the escaped prisoner in and then smashed the driver’s window.

“They dragged all three men out and made them lie on the floor.

“Shoppers had to stay in the Spar shop for at least an hour whilst it was going on.

“I felt so sorry for one poor man who had only popped out to get a paper then couldn’t get out because the rammed car had blocked his in.

“It was a bit of a shock because nothing ever happens in Galgate - it’s so quiet.”

Another eyewitness, Rebecca Haslam said: “A police helicopter began circling round the village of Galgate. “Witnesses reported a number of police vehicles blocking in a car just off Stony Lane.

“Within minutes, several police cars, motorbikes and sniffer dogs along with armed police were on scene with the roads closed off to all traffic.

“This caused huge tailbacks with some drivers where possible turning around.

“No pedestrians were allowed beyond a certain point and it wasn’t long before the unfolding scene brought out huge crowds.

“One suspect was then brought out in handcuffs and loaded into another van.”

Three men, aged 31, 27 and 25, who were travelling in the car have been arrested.

A 31-year-old man, reported to be Stevie McMullen, from Salford, who was broken out of a prison van on the way to court last week along with Ryan McDonald, was arrested.

Stevie McMullen, 31, was remanded in custody by Manchester magistrates on Tuesday and was due appear at Manchester Crown Court on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing.

The other two men were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

They have been taken into police custody for questioning.

Before his escape, Mr McMullen was being transported from HMP Altcourse in Fazakerley, Merseyside, to court to face charges of conspiracy to kidnap, conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit arson, possession of a firearm, and other offences.

Assistant GMP Chief Constable Steve Heywood said: “Since two prisoners were sprung from a GEOAmey prison van last Tuesday, our officers have been working round-the-clock to trace these fugitives and bring them back into custody.

“This afternoon, we have arrested a 31-year-old man in the Lancashire area as part of this operation, but our efforts will continue to trace 19-year-old Ryan McDonald, who is still wanted by police.

“On Friday, a £10,000 reward was put forward for information leading to the capture of these two men.

“This full £10,000 reward still stands for anyone who gives us information that leads to McDonald’s arrest and will be paid when he is back behind bars.

“I would ask members of the public not to approach this man due to the potential danger he poses, but if you see him then please call the police immediately.”

On Tuesday, April 30, a 28-year-old woman and 24-year-old man were detained at a house on the Ordsall estate on suspicion of being involved in assisting an offender.

They have been released on bail pending further inquiries until June 26.