ASHLAND, Ohio — FOX 8 has obtained surveillance video that shows an inmate making a daring escape at a local rest stop. He was being transported by a private company, and not by any member of law enforcement.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the transport driver worked for Affordable Extradition Services, based in Woodbury, Tennessee. FOX 8 has left several messages with the company, but so far, we have not gotten a response.
On Friday at 8:43 p.m., surveillance video shows Said Ali El-Khatib, 32, being escorted into a rest area on Interstate 71 South in Wayne County. A private prisoner transport company was taking El-Khatib from New York to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he was wanted on a larceny charge. He asked the driver to use the restroom.
In the footage, the driver is seen making some type of adjustments to El-Khatib’s ankle restraints before taking him into the rest stop men’s room. About four minutes later, the camera captures both of them walk out of the building, then the video shows El-Khatib take off, with the driver chasing him.
“After reviewing footage of the scene that night with his escape, it appeared to us that it was spontaneous, just based on his actions,” said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott.
During the search, US Marshal Pete Elliott spoke to FOX 8 about the transport.
“He was being transported by one individual, you know, that’s the information that I received and that’s …he was able to get away from that one individual and escape (would that one individual be law enforcement?) as far as I know, no,” Elliott said.
El-Khatib was arrested early Sunday morning, a few miles away in Ashland, where he was also wanted on a warrant from 2014.
A spokesman for the Allen County, Indiana Sheriff’s Office tells FOX 8 a bond company originally hired the private company to drive El-Khatib from New York to Indiana.
More specific details were not immediately available.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol says they do not hire private companies to transport prisoners.
The highway patrol says Ali El-Khatib remains in the Ashland County Jail, where he is expected to remain for several weeks. Authorities are also seeking indictments against him in Wayne County, connected to his escape.