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Friday, 4 April 2008

Jermaine Carvery, who was on remand on charges of attempted murder and hostage-taking, escaped from guards outside the Centennial Building of the Vict

Jermaine Carvery, who was on remand on charges of attempted murder and hostage-taking, escaped from guards outside the Centennial Building of the Victoria General hospital at about 1:15 p.m. while being transferred from a prison van to the hospital, where the 30-year-old was to undergo day surgery.But it is unclear how he made his brazen midday escape.Several questions remain unanswered.Did Mr. Carvery, who is noticeably thinner than the picture provided to the media, slip one of his ankles through the leg iron? Or did he have some sort of key?How did he outrun two unarmed guards in a busy area of Halifax? And why did it take 25 minutes before anyone notified police of his disappearance?Those are all questions that the provincial Justice Department hopes to answer during its internal review of Thursday’s escape."We’re looking at exactly, first of all, how this incident happened, starting from the time they left (the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth) to when he fled," said department spokeswoman Sherri Aikenhead.At this point, she said, officials don’t know how he got the leg irons off. As far as she knows, she said, he didn’t have a key.She hadn’t heard an unconfirmed report that Mr. Carvery may have gotten into a car at the Via Rail station, and it’s not known whether he had help from someone."Staff are trying to determine whether or not this was preplanned," she said."We were called at 1:39 p.m., and they were pursuing him in the area of South Street and Wellington at that point," said Const. Jeff Carr, Halifax Regional Police spokesman. He didn’t know why the force wasn’t informed sooner.Ms. Aikenhead said 1:15 p.m. "was an approximate time of the escape, but that is being looked at — the timelines — as part of our review."The guards weren’t injured during the incident and Justice Department staff notified Mr. Carvery’s alleged victims, Ms. Aikenhead said.Shortly after the call came in to police, officers set up a four- or five-block perimeter and brought in a police dog team and about two dozen officers.They ended the perimeter search at 3:30 p.m."We never had sight of him," Const. Carr said.The force sent out a description and photo of Mr. Carvery to other Nova Scotia police forces and set up a special team dedicated to searching for him.He is "considered potentially dangerous," Const. Carr said.Mr. Carvery faces 22 charges in connection with four heists in the Halifax and Truro areas from 2004 to 2006.He is charged with attempted murder, armed robbery and unauthorized possession of a firearm. He also faces four counts each of forcible confinement, wearing a disguise in the commission of an offence and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, three counts of theft and two counts each of robbery and possession of stolen property.Officials from four police agencies said in September that Mr. Carvery, in custody in Toronto at the time, had been charged in a series of "highly violent, takedown-style robberies, which shook the victims and owners and the Nova Scotia business community as a whole."On April 28, 2004, three armed men walked into TRA Cash and Carry in Truro at about 7 a.m., confined three employees and fled in a stolen van with a quantity of cigarettes. Four to six armed men entered the Costco store at Bayers Lake Business Park in Halifax shortly after 4 a.m. on July 30, 2004, as the first workers were arriving for the day.The robbers forcibly confined 42 employees for more than two hours while they loaded about $250,000 worth of cigarettes into a U-Haul truck and drove off. On the evening of Sept. 12, 2004, three armed and masked men hit Chrissy’s Trading Post in Hammonds Plains. They confined a clerk and two people who were in the parking lot, stole an undisclosed amount of cash and also tried to break into the business owner’s nearby home. Two years later, on Sept. 25, 2006, more than $100,000 was stolen from DirectCash ATM Services in Dartmouth.Two men, one armed with a gun and the other with a spray can, were involved in the crime. A shot was fired at an employee who escaped out a back door and ran to a nearby office. At the time of the escape Thursday, Mr. Carvery was wearing green jail-issued pants and a navy sweatshirt, Const. Carr said. He had short hair and facial hair, estimated to be about two days’ growth. He is also thinner now than he appeared in the photo issued to the media Thursday.



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