Sometimes life imitates art. In this instance a notorious gangster has just pulled off a cinematic escape from prison that seems to have scripted for a Hollywood blockbuster. The criminal made a daring jailbreak in a hijacked helicopter flown directly to the prison by a couple of the gangster’s heavily armed henchmen.
The escape happened in France, Sunday. Redoine Faid, 46, broke out of the penitentiary in the Paris suburbs.
He was in a visiting area when his men arrived with smoke bombs. They cut him out with angle grinders.
The helicopter had been hijacked from a flight instructor and landed at 11:15 a.m. in the prison yard.
The men, armed with Kalashnikovs, then broke into the building. “The wardens, who were unarmed, fled to safety and raised the alarm,” The Daily Mail writes.
“A union representative told local media that the men were ‘dressed in black and hooded’ while wearing police armbands.”
The helicopter was found 37 miles from the prison.
“A police source said the helicopter pilot was a flight instructor waiting for a student when he was seized by Faid’s accomplices. He was forced to fly before being later freed in a state of shock,” DM writes.
The escapee and his accomplices then drove away from there in a waiting car. The car was later found abandoned and burned in a car park.
“Everything is being done to locate the fugitive,” an official with the Ministry of the Interior said.
Faid had been sentenced to 25 years in prison for a botched armed robbery in 2010. A policewoman was killed in that robbery attempt.
Faid had served time before, and had broken out of prison back in 2013. During that escape, he took four guards hostage with a stolen pistol. He was on the run for six weeks before he was recaptured.
Faid has developed a level of renown for his criminal activities. He’s written books about his youth, and is notorious for robbing banks and armored cars.
“At a Paris film festival in April 2009, Faid approached Michael Mann, director of the 1995 gangster film ‘Heat’ starring Al Pacino and Robert Niro, telling him: ‘You were my technical adviser’,” The Daily Mail notes.
He even claims to have studied movies for techniques that he has used in his robberies