Earlier this morning, an accused murderer executed a Houdini-like escape from the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, forcing the Broward Sheriff's Office to evacuate the courthouse and mobilize an all-hands-on-deck manhunt.
Dayonte Resiles, 21, had been charged with murdering Jill Su, a Davie woman who'd been found dead in a bathtub in her home, inside a gated community near I-595 and Nob Hill Road. Su's murder flummoxed area police, who said the woman lived in a virtually crime-free section of town. Police said Resiles had also robbed the home. He was arrested in 2014.
Today, Resiles showed up in court in shackles for a hearing to determine whether the death penalty applied to his case. He'd been sitting calmly in Judge Raag Singhal's jury box next to a crowd of other inmates waiting to have their cases heard. Out of the blue, reports say, Resiles burst out of his shackles, shot up out of his seat, and ran from the room.
"No one can figure how he got the leg shackles and the handcuffs off — whether he had a key or was adept at slipping them off," attorney Jim Lewis, who witnessed the event, told the Sun Sentinel.
Witnesses say Resiles then plowed through two guarded doors with the skill of an NFL running back. One deputy apparently grabbed Resiles' collar, but the inmate sprung free. He also slammed a door into a pregnant assistant state attorney. Security footage showed an unidentified man forcing his way into a silver 2008 BMW with the plate number 859ICT.
The courthouse was then evacuated. A deputy also reportedly told visitors to "get as far away from the building as possible, because a fugitive was on the loose." The courthouse was reopened at 11:20 a.m.
"I’ve been practicing in Fort Lauderdale for 43 years, and I’ve never had a client escape or attempt to escape in this matter,” Resiles' attorney, Dohn Williams, told CBS 4 Miami. Williams said he had no idea his client planned to escape. Fort Lauderdale Police have dispatched three helicopters, as well as K-9 officers. BSO deputies are also canvassing the area around the courthouse. Police have set up a perimeter around the area.
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Resiles stands five feet ten inches tall and weighs 175 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and black shorts.
Update: Here's a clip from Local 10 News of what looks to be Resiles making a mad dash for freedom:
This story will be updated.