Police search for escaped prisoner

February 5, 2009 3:35:04 PM PST
Police are searching for a prisoner who escaped during transport overnight. 33-year-old Sylvester Mitchell escaped from the custody of a private transport company.

The van carrying him arrived at the 9th police district at 22nd and Hamilton Streets in Philadelphia's Spring Garden section around 3:00 a.m.

Mitchell was not inside.

Instead of notifying police, sources tell Action News the van drivers searched the area on their own for about 25 minutes.

Authorities say the transport company, Prisoner Transportation Services, made a one hour rest stop in Annapolis, Maryland in the early morning hours.

Police say they do not believe Mitchell escaped in Annapolis, instead saying they are concentrating their search in the Philadephia area.

Both the Maryland State Police and the Annapolis Police tell Action News they have not been told to be on the lookout for the escapee.

Police say, back in June, Mitchell was involved in a shoot-out at the Wynnefield Academy Day Care Center. The children were inside at the time. A parked car was riddled with bullets, but amazingly the woman inside was not hit.

Mitchell was being extradited from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on attempted murder charges.

He was shackled and wearing an orange vest when he escaped. Police say he is 5'10" tall, weighs approximately 185 lbs. and speaks with a Jamaican accent.

Mitchell has a number of last known Philadelphia addresses that the police are investigating.

If you have any information on Sylvester Mitchell's whereabouts you are urged to contact Philadelphia Police.

Prisoner Transportation Services did not want to comment on this story.

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