Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

A manhunt is underway in Tennessee after a man charged with numerous drug and child pornography offenses forced his way out of a police transport vehicle and vanished, according to officials.

Sean Williams, 51, disappeared from the back of a police van in Greeneville as he was being transported to a hearing on Wednesday morning.

When officers arrived at the courthouse, they found one of the van’s windows smashed out and the back empty.

“During travel, it appears that the inmate was able to utilize a component of the van’s headrest to free himself from his hand restraints,” said Laurel County Jailer Jamie Mosley, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Williams was then able to “pry the protective screening and force the side window out of the rear of the transport vehicle,” Mosley said.

It still remains unknown exactly how Williams was able to remove his shackles while restrained in the van.

“This is an extremely rare situation to have an escape from one of those [vehicles],” U.S. Marshal David Jolley said Wednesday during a press conference. “I have a lot of questions about how this situation happened.”

Authorities are frantically searching for the fugitive and warned he is desperate and dangerous.

Sean Williams, 51, is facing charges for the production of child pornography, along with drug offenses.

“We do consider him to be the type of individual who would do anything in his power to not be captured,” Jolley said. “Which could mean breaking into homes, obtaining firearms, stealing vehicles — anything of that nature.”

Shortly after escaping, Williams was spotted in Greeneville with blood on his clothes — suggesting he cut himself during his daring escape — knocking on the door of a house and asking to use the phone, where he was turned away.

“He had his leg tied up and it was bleeding,” Nashala Livingston, the cousin of the homeowner, told WCYB. “He had khaki pants, and no shoes on, and he was trying to cover up his feet and his ankles, too.”

There have been no sightings of Williams since then, a U.S. Marshall told NBC News.

Williams was already considered a flight risk after he allegedly made two escape attempts from prisons where he was being held over the summer.

He was indicted for the production of child pornography in September, after being arrested in April when police discovered cocaine and methamphetamine in his car during a search.

Williams was last seen bloodied while knocking on the door of a house in Greeneville and asking to use the phoneWJHL

Williams is also at the center of a lawsuit brought by former U.S. Attorney Kateri Dahl, alleging the Johnson City Police Department mishandled an investigation into multiple accusations of sexual assault against him.

In her lawsuit, Dahl claims her efforts to investigate Williams were blocked by the police department.

One of those accusations included an incident where a woman fell from his fifth-floor apartment window to the sidewalk below, but miraculously survived.

That woman, Mikayla Evans, is fearful Williams will hunt down her and other women mentioned in the lawsuit now that he’s escaped, according to NBC News.

“He knows who those women are because they gave him a copy of the lawsuit,” she said. “I’m numb — It took us two years to catch this monster and he just magically pulls a Houdini act and disappears.”

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