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Toronto prisoner at large after switcheroo in College Park courtroom


Jacob Allen Mann, 24, is from Toronto and his last known address is on Kingston Rd. near Queen St. E.

Police say they are searching for a man believed to be dangerous after he walked free from a Toronto courthouse Thursday by posing as a prisoner who was set to be released.

Jacob Allen Mann, 24, was in custody in College Park court facing charges of forcible confinement, assault and violating parole.

He and another prisoner, whose charges had been dismissed, were in the prisoner’s box. Mann stood up when the other man’s name was called, said Const. Pad Brookes of the Toronto police.

“He stood up and then he walked out,” said Brookes. “It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?”

Mann’s lawyer was not available to be in court Thursday, and the court officer familiar with the cases had stepped out to collect more prisoners, Brookes said.

When charges are dismissed, prisoners are free to leave. They do not have to fill out paperwork or undergo processing, Brookes said.

The other prisoner did not react to his name being called. When the court officer returned to the room, court security quickly realized what had happened.

Court security began a search for Mann at 2:45 p.m. and when he could not be found, they contacted Toronto police at 3:40 p.m.

Police continue to search for Mann, who is alleged to have assaulted and forcibly confined a relative. Police have notified the relative of his escape, Brookes said.

Mann is from Toronto and his last known address is on Kingston Rd. near Queen St. E.

He is believed to be dangerous because of past violent offences, Brookes said.

He is wanted for escaping lawful custody. Police are urging anyone who spots Mann not to approach him and to call police.

The prisoner whose identity Mann assumed is not suspected of wrongdoing, Brookes said. That man was released immediately after.

It’s not unheard of for prisoners to acknowledge bail in someone else’s name, but incidents like this are rare, said Brookes.

“For something this easy, I haven’t heard of that in the past,” he said.

thestar.com – News