Two men allegedly posing as tourists took over a tour helicopter in broad daylight on Sunday. They ordered the pilot to take them to a detention center in Montreal and used ropes to pick up two prisoners in a jailbreak.
Prisoners Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau, 36, and Danny Provencal, 33, were waiting on the roof of the jail when the helicopter arrived around 2:20 p.m. local time on Sunday afternoon. There were many witnesses to the crime as the helicopter hovered over the correctional facility in Saint-Jerome, just northwest of Montreal.
“At that point, two of the inmates came out and appeared to attach themselves to cables that were attached to the helicopter,” Derek Conlon of CTV reported. “The helicopter then took off with these two men suspended underneath and it flew away, much to the surprise and astonishment of everyone in the area.”
It was a real "James Bond moment," witness Francis Emond told CTV.
Police tracked down the helicopter about 50 miles away in Mont-Tremblant, but found only the pilot at the scene. He was taken to an area hospital where he was treated for shock. Quebec provincial police spokesman Benoit Richard said authorities still don’t know what roll the pilot played in the escape plot.
Six hours after the escape, the police arrested three men, one of whom was Hudon-Barbeau. Around 9:30 p.m. police located Provencal holed up in a sugar-shack type structure.
Provencal, who was serving a seven-year sentence for various offenses, including arson, surrendered without incident. "It was very peaceful. Nobody was injured," said Richard.
Both men are due in court Monday morning.