An escaped prisoner left a trail of destruction as he led police on a high-speed chase through Aberdeen yesterday.
Officers from across the city were drafted in to track down Jed Duncan after he slipped out of a G4S security van while it stopped on Queen Street – where prisoners are taken in and out to court.
Duncan is a well-known car thief and joyrider.
Shortly after, witnesses on the other side of the city saw Duncan behind the wheel of a blue 4×4 and described seeing him smash into passing vehicles.
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One couple were terrified as the 23-year-old came speeding towards them on Rousay Drive, just off the Lang Stracht.
The 4×4 scraped the side of their green Honda Civic as it sped past, followed by several police cars.
One of the car’s owners, who was shaken but unhurt, told The P&J: “It was quite a speed he came past at, and he hit the car.
“He took the whole side off it. There was a yellow van that was also damaged.
“Then police cars came out of nowhere and started chasing him.
“He wasn’t in handcuffs. It seems he broke free and ran away.”
The car’s owners said the man took a sharp right onto Eday Road afterwards and appeared to have dumped the car somewhere.
He was later seen leading officers in the opposite direction, this time on a scooter.
It is not known at which point they ended the pursuit, but efforts were last night continuing to find Duncan.
Chief Inspector Neil McDonald said: “There is nothing to suggest there is a wider threat to the public, however we would urge anyone who knows where Jed is to contact us immediately.”
Duncan is described as being 5ft 9ins, slim build and was wearing a black beanie hat and dark clothing.
He escaped at about 11.40am, and was seen near Woodend Hospital at 12.40pm.
One woman who was leaving the hospital at the time said the police response was like nothing she had ever seen before.
“I was in the car and coming out of the hospital but I couldn’t get by,” she said.
“I saw a police car with the officers speaking to people.
“There was debris all over the road and the traffic was at a standstill.
“Then another car came screaming into the hospital, followed by another one with its lights on and sirens.”
Last night a spokesman for G4S said: “We can confirm that a prisoner absconded from a prisoner transport vehicle shortly before 12pm on Queen Street, Aberdeen.
“We are working with the police to urgently bring the prisoner back into custody.”
In August 2017, Lee Hipson sparked a massive search after slipping his guards at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
The prisoner tricked officers into thinking he had appendicitis by cutting himself with a broken lighter, and then managed to slip his cuffs at the entrance to the hospital.
He was eventually tracked down in Newtonhill, 14 hours too late.
He had more than a year and a half added to the sentence he was already serving for an armed robbery.