Inmate inscapes under Lid

By Ruth Longoria

A state Department of Corrections prisoner who attempted an escape mid-tunnel under the Lid of Interstate 90 Wednesday morning was transported to Harborview Medical Center for minor, non-life threatening injuries. The man is listed in satisfactory condition, a hospital representative said Thursday.

At about 9 a.m. Wednesday, the man, Shane Johnson, 28, of Bellevue was handcuffed and belted into the back of a Department of Corrections car. Somehow Johnson managed to get out of his seat belt, open the car door and jump from the moving vehicle. He rolled across one lane of traffic and onto the curb, where he was captured and treated for injuries sustained in the botched escape, said Linda Bonazza, Department of Corrections public information officer.

Johnson was initially treated with first aid supplies provided by a Metro bus driver who stopped his bus after he witnessed the incident. The bus had been behind the Department of Corrections vehicle. A state Department of Transportation vehicle was behind the bus and was able to help stop traffic until State Patrol and Mercer Island Fire and aid units arrived. State troopers blocked one lane of traffic for about ten minutes until Johnson could be transported, by aid unit, to Harborview, State Trooper Kelly Spangler said.

The incident began after Johnson turned himself in to the Department of Correction's Bellevue office on Wednesday morning. He was arrested for parole violations of previous suspicious mischief, assault and domestic violence charges, Bonazza said.

Two corrections officers were transporting Johnson to King County Jail, and were driving in the express lanes of the I-90 tunnel when they noticed Johnson attempting to escape from the moving vehicle. The driver slowed the car to between 30 and 40 miles-per-hour when Johnson jumped, Spangler said.

After stopping the car, one of the officers called 9-1-1 for assistance and the other officer apprehended Johnson, who was then on the side of the roadway. After Johnson is released from the hospital he will appear before a sentencing judge, for the previous violation charge as well as possible additional charges related to the escape attempt, Bonazza said.

Mercer Island fire Battalion Chief Les Kenworthy said the suspect's attempted escape ended a lot less tragically than it might have. ``He jumped from a moving car while handcuffed,'' Kenworthy said. ``It was not a smart thing to do.''

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