Helicopter pilot beaten during French criminal’s escape

Sud-Francilien prison outside Paris when Redoine Faid had escaped in 2013

Sud-Francilien prison outside Paris when Redoine Faid had escaped in 2013

Investigators transport an Alouette II helicopter allegedly abandoned by French prisoner Redoine Faid and suspected accomplices after his escape from prison on Sunday.

He was being visited by his brother when several heavily-armed men landed the aircraft in a prison yard to bust him out.

According to ABC, Faid is known as a career criminal, now serving a sentence for attempted armed robbery in 2010 that led to a vehicle chase and a shootout with police, killing 26-year-old officer Aurelie Fouquet.

The passenger it sought was a 46-year-old gangster named Redoine Faid, who had been serving a 25-year sentence at the prison for armed robbery and murder.

In 2013, he took four prison guards hostage with a pistol before using dynamite to blow his way out of jail and fleeing in a waiting getaway vehicle.

He was captured six weeks later in a hotel outside of the French capital.

The escape came after an appeals court sentenced him to 25 years for masterminding a May 2010 botched armed robbery, in which a policewoman was killed.

The French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, wants to catch Faid as quickly as possible.

"The escape only lasted a few minutes", the statement said.

This is the second time Faid has made a daring escape from prison. Just months before his escape, drones were spotted flying above the prison which are now believed to be linked to the breakout.

The French police's deputy director for combatting organized crime meanwhile said that a group of four or five accomplices were thought to have sprung Faid from prison.

Police nicknamed him "The Author" for the two books he co-wrote about his youth.

Two black-clad men armed with assault rifles then alighted and set off smoke bombs before breaking into the visiting room, where Faid was talking to his brother.

The French National Police are still in search of the gangster.

The men then continued their getaway by auto, changing vehicles along the way from a hatchback found burnt out in a shopping mall parking lot to a white van. In it, he claimed to have been inspired by the US gangster film "Scarface", the Telegraph wrote, but said his life of crime was behind him.

They forced him to land at the only part of the prison that did not have anti-aircraft netting protecting it. "Behind all his manners-he is very polite-he always hid his game", the supervisor said.

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