In an escape that was long on drama but short on planning, a suspect left unattended in an interview room at Minneapolis police headquarters tried to get away by climbing through a ceiling crawl space, according to three sources familiar with the incident.
Robert Lawrence Bryant was brought in for questioning in a rape and burglary case around midday Wednesday, the sources say. But, they say, when the detective who was interviewing him left to tend to some other business, Bryant, 22, who wasn’t handcuffed, tried to make his escape.
Standing atop an interview table, he reportedly pushed aside a ceiling tile and clambered up into the crawl space. From there, the sources say, he made his way several dozen feet before reaching the building’s outer wall.
Detectives in the homicide unit initially mistook the racket coming from the ceiling for construction crews at work, a source said. But they quickly realized what was going on, and called up to Bryant to turn himself in.
After a few moments of deliberation, he gave up and dropped down in front of the office of Cmdr. Chris Granger, head of the violent crimes investigations division, sources say.
It’s unclear whether any department policies were violated during the escape.
When asked how he intended to get out of the building, Bryant reportedly shrugged and conceded that he hadn’t thought that far ahead. Bryant damaged tiles, wiring and pipes during his escape attempt.
Bryant was charged with criminal sexual conduct — and damage to property.