Quebec provincial police say they've surrounded the remaining inmate at large who pulled off a brazen daylight helicopter escape from a Saint-Jérôme, Que., jail on Sunday afternoon.
Danny Provençal, 33, and Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau, 36, escaped from the facility northwest of Montreal at around 2:30 ET by climbing on board a helicopter with the help of a rope.
The jail's warden told police that Hudon-Barbeau and Provençal had grabbed a rope dropped from the helicopter to make their getaway, said Sgt. Benoit Richard.
Police located the chopper at around 3:30 p.m. in the Mont-Tremblant area, but only the pilot remained.
Police later arrested Hudon-Barbeau and two other suspects 50 kilometres north of Saint-Jérôme. Hudon-Barbeau is alleged by police to have ties to the Hells Angels, Radio-Canada reported.
Police said the pilot was taken to an area hospital to be treated for shock.
"He's going to be questioned later on by investigators … within the next couple of hours," Richard said, adding that it's too early to say what the pilot's role was in the escape.
A Montreal radio station, 98.5 FM, received a call Sunday from a man claiming to be Hudon-Barbeau, who said he was "ready to die" as he tried to evade police.
Yves Galarneau, the correctional services manager who oversees the jail said he'd never seen anything like the dramatic escape in more than three decades on the job.
Galarneau said there are no security measures in place at the jail to prevent a helicopter from swooping down from above.
"As far as I know, it's a first in Quebec," he told reporters at the scene. "It's exceptional." A little over a month ago, the Saint-Jérôme detention centre experienced a mini-riot by about a dozen prisoners.
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In that incident, police had been asked to secure the outside of the prison, which holds about 480 inmates, and facility staff used pepper spray to disperse the mob.