(news-leader.com) - Newly filed court documents say Nick Gamblin escaped from a locked Strafford police car last week and couldn't immediately be followed because the officer was transporting two other people.
Authorities have recaptured Gamblin. He had a history of escaping police; he now faces a new felony escape charge.
Springfield police captured Gamblin about 1:17 a.m. Wednesday, in the 2700 block of West State Street, according to police.
Police spokeswoman Lisa Cox said Gamblin was driving a stolen motorcycle, which also had stolen plates from another incident.
Cox said someone on the motorcycle had been eluding officers earlier Tuesday evening. Then, just after 1 a.m. this morning, an officer saw the same motorcycle again attempting to elude him. The officer positively identified the driver as Gamblin and Gamblin pulled into a driveway, turned off the motorcycle, and exited on foot.
"He was hesitant but eventually complied with officer requests to make contact," Cox said.
When he was arrested, police say they discovered Gamblin was also in possession of meth.
Gamblin, 33, who is from the Springfield area, was being transported from Strafford to Springfield and escaped from the custody of Strafford police about 7:15 p.m. Thursday.
Strafford Police Chief Justhan Webster said Gamblin was being taken to the Greene County Jail from the municipal court in Strafford, where he had appeared on minor traffic charges. Webster said Gamblin had been handcuffed behind his back but had managed to maneuver the handcuffs in front of him, unlock the door of the patrol car and then jump out of the moving car.
Today, prosecutors filed a felony charge of escaping from confinement.
According to the probable cause statement, the officer, Brian Way, was transporting Gamblin and two others.
Way reported Gamblin was in the rear passenger seat inside the transport cage, with his door locked and double checked for security. He said the window controls were also disabled.
The statement says Way slowed down at a traffic light but was still traveling about 18 mph when he "heard two loud 'thumps' coming from the back of the caged area in quick succession," then heard the rear passenger door open and saw Gamblin running east on Division Street wearing his handcuffs on the front.
Way wrote he had to continue to the jail because he had two other passengers, including a woman named Kerstee Miller, who was identified as being "aggressive or violent" by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Way alerted dispatch that Gamblin had escaped and returned to the area after he had dropped the other two people at the jail.
Webster said officers are being told to make sure the childproof locks are engaged on the patrol cars so prisoners won't be able to open the doors from inside. He wouldn't say if Way could be disciplined.
At the time of his escape, Gamblin had four active warrants including first-degree tampering, first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and resisting arrest. Gamblin, who had been described as possibly dangerous.
Gamblin previously escaped while handcuffed from Missouri state troopers in February 2013 and was captured about a week later. Court records show he also had escaped from a Springfield police car in late June.
Court records show that Gamblin pleaded not guilty last month to charges in the robbery and tampering case.
Court records show Greene County Judge Mark Powell gave Gamblin a $100,000 open court bond on June 26.