Prisoner escapes from guard in Tacoma using fake gun


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Drizzt
June 24, 2003, 12:24 AM
Prisoner escapes from guard in Tacoma using fake gun

By Michael Ko
Seattle Times staff reporter

In March 1934, the notorious bank robber John Dillinger carved a gun from a wooden board or a bar of soap (the legend varies), stained it with black shoe polish and used it to escape from an Indiana jail.

Harold McCord of Tacoma today accomplished the same feat with cardboard, toilet paper and black ink.

Recently sentenced to life in prison without parole, McCord, 36, fooled three law enforcement officers with a fake .25 caliber handgun and escaped from the Pierce County courthouse in Tacoma.

McCord then stole a pickup truck in a nearby alley and ditched the weapon and his jail garb a few blocks away.

He is still on the loose, and considered armed and dangerous. Officers found the abandoned truck this afternoon south of the Tacoma Mall, in the 5200 block of Junett Street.

“Obviously, at this point he doesn’t have a lot to lose,” said Pierce County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Lauren Pawlawski. Authorities say McCord did his research.

He cut a three-dimensional model of a .25 caliber handgun out of the back of a hard cardboard note tablet. Then he stuffed it with toilet paper, wrapped it with newspaper and painted it black with a pen. McCord even etched fake grooves on the side. It had the same dimensions as a real .25 caliber, about 5 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. The gun was recovered on the ground near South 14th and South G streets.

“It’s unbelievable; we held them side by side and they looked exactly alike,” Pawlawski said. “I could stand 10 feet away, and if I saw somebody holding it, I would think it was a gun.”

The incident began about 10:35 a.m. According to Pierce County Sheriff’s Det. Ed Troyer, McCord had just finished a brief hearing in a fifth-floor courtroom relating to March kidnapping charges against him. Before officers could put his handcuffs and shackles back on, he bolted out of the courtroom.

“One of our officers chased him down the hallway and tackled him. They rolled around on the floor,” Troyer said. Two other officers nearby pulled out their guns and ordered McCord to surrender.

McCord pulled his fake gun from his shirt, pointed it at the first officer’s head, and said he was going to shoot, Troyer said. He was violent and aggressive, Troyer said.

“(The two officers) had him at gunpoint, and saw their partner being held at gunpoint. They made the decision to lower their weapons,” Troyer said. “They weren’t going to start a gun battle in the hallway.”

McCord ran out of the courthouse through the second-story entrance, then headed south a few blocks, where he tried to hijack a truck. But that driver took off. He found another truck, which was parked in an alley near South 13th and South G streets. The driver was nearby; McCord pointed the fake gun at him and demanded the keys.

McCord is a so-called “third-striker,” and state law requires life-without-parole prison terms for people convicted of three violent offenses.

The bulk of his lengthy criminal history occurred in the mid- to late-1980s and includes assault, robbery, domestic violence and possession of stolen property. On June 13, McCord was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the March kidnapping and assault of his ex-girlfriend at a Tacoma bus stop. It was his third violent offense. Authorities today contacted all of his known relatives and victims.

McCord, of Tacoma, is described as a black male with a shaved head, muscular build and brown eyes. He is about 6-foot-1 tall and weighs 190 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white tank top and gray, jail-issued pants. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 911, authorities said.

As for Dillinger, he fled to Illinois and was free for several months. In July of that year, FBI agents shot and killed him outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/135061760_webescape23.html

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S_O_Laban
June 24, 2003, 01:30 AM
Great, now we have to outlaw writing tablets, black ink, toliet paper and newspaper!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

amazing how dangerous that newspaper is:D

Henry Bowman
June 24, 2003, 10:34 AM
Weird happenings out of Tacoma over the last few months. What's going on up there? :uhoh:

Bobarino
June 24, 2003, 01:44 PM
ahhh c'mon, Tacoma's not that bad. i've lived here for 26 years and i'm only a LITTLE bit nuts.

seriously though, the ex-girlfriend they refer to in the article used to work where my girfriend currently works. they had a meeting discussing the possibilty of the bad guy coming to look for the ex-girlfriend and what to do in case it happens. apparently he is unaware that she no longer works there. my poor girfrind is only 5'2" and 100lbs. i hope she knows enough to run and hide. she won't carry a gun. even after 4 years of trying to convince her. i worry about her. i hope they catch this scum bag. soon.

Bobby

Standing Wolf
June 24, 2003, 02:14 PM
He is still on the loose, and considered armed and dangerous.

I hope he's armed with another cardboard gun.

Ol' Badger
June 24, 2003, 02:25 PM
I read somewhere that Convics roll up magazine paper into a tube and stick a match head at the end with a pencil head as the projectile and they crush the match head and "POP" there goes the pencil!
Wonder if that will work?

Carlos
June 24, 2003, 02:51 PM
As for Dillinger, he fled to Illinois and was free for several months. In July of that year, FBI agents shot and killed him outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago.

One can only hope that this character will suffer the same fate, and soon.

Cactus
June 24, 2003, 11:07 PM
The scum bag got in a gun fight with the police in Monroe a couple of hours ago. He shall now be known as the LATE scum bag. He did manage to wound one cop before he was killed however.

The cop is expected to survive and hopefully he/she will fully recover.

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