Nelspruit police in search of man who escaped through hospital window

Published by Andile Sicetsha

Police officials in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga have launched a province-wide manhunt for a 37-year-old suspect who recently escaped from police custody.

Nelspruit robber hunted by police

In the wee hours of Saturday 27 February, police guards who were stationed at the suspect’s hospital bed removed the cuffs to let him relieve himself in the bathroom.

Little did they know, the 37-year-old had his eyes set on making a run for it. A while after he had disappeared into the toilet, police guards realised something was amiss.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, by the time the guards went in to check on the suspect, he had “managed to escape through the window.”

Possible police assistance in his escape is being probed

The 37-year-old is being sought for a string of crimes, including robbery and other contact crimes. Two days prior to his grand escape, the suspect was allegedly involved in car theft and a robbery that left the victim injured by gunshot wounds.

“The man and his accomplice stole a bakkie which was parked outside a certain creche at Phola Trust in Masoyi near Hazyview and fled the scene. Along the way, they met another man who was trimming the lawn with a brush cutter. They then shot at him and robbed him of his brush cutter before running him over with the stolen bakkie as he laid on the ground,” Brig Hlathi wrote in a statement.

Taking matters into his own hands, the owner of the stolen vehicle, with the assistance of the community, tracked down the suspects to Mshadza Trust, a settlement near Hazyview.

One of the alleged robbers managed to flee while the 37-year-old was nabbed by the mob and assaulted. At the perfect time, police swooped in to de-escalate the situation and call for emergency services to transport the suspect to a nearby hospital for treatment.

This all played into the suspect’s plan to get away with his crimes. Since his escape, police have had no luck in tracking the 37-year-old down.

“The investigation regarding his escape, is underway both criminally as well as departmentally and if the members who were tasked with a responsibility to guard him, faltered, the law will surely deal with them accordingly,” Brig. Hlathi revealed.

Our attempts to get more descriptive details on the suspect were unsuccessful.