In a twist of fate, a manhunt for an attempted murder suspect took an unexpected turn when nature itself intervened. Christopher Pray, a 39-year-old escapee from an Oregon psychiatric hospital, found himself ensnared by the very land he sought to evade. The incident unfolded on Wednesday when Pray managed to bolt from custody, only to be engulfed by a muddy pond in Portland, Oregon.
Portland fugitive fished out of pond after escape lands him in mud up to armpits https://t.co/zKRPawoFcT
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 3, 2023
Despite being bound with leg shackles, a belly chain, and handcuffs, Pray found a way to escape undetected. Seizing an opportune moment, he slipped away from the hospital and even managed to abscond with a van while the driver was momentarily outside.
The momentary escape actions left the community on high alert as law enforcement issued a stern warning to the community, emphasizing the extreme danger he posed due to his violent criminal history, including charges of attempted aggravated murder and assault.
The robbery charge spanned from a case in which he nearly took a woman’s life in Multnomah County. Another heinous act attributed to him involved a violent domestic dispute in which he was accused of using a tool to attack his victim. These charges were in connection with a disturbing incident from March 2022.
He was in the Oregon State Hospital following a determination that he was unfit to stand trial, as court records revealed. He had been taken away for treatment after getting into “an altercation” with another patient. It was while he was being transported back into the psychiatric hospital that he attempted the escape.
But the desperate bid for escape ended when he found himself trapped in a muddy pond in Portland, where nature’s grasp held him in an iron grip up to his armpits.
Videos and images captured the heroic efforts of Portland Fire and Rescue as they used ropes and a suspended ladder to pull him to safety. A scene that seemed almost like poetic justice unfolded as Pray, who had once posed a grave threat to others, found himself pleading for his own life.
In an attempt to evade authorities, Pray initially tried to deceive firefighters by giving them a false name. However, a hospital employee recognized him and alerted law enforcement.
Per authorities, an employee of the hospital got wounded during the escape. It is, however, unclear how this happened as Oregon State Police say investigators are still looking into how Pray managed to escape custody in the first place.