This photo taken on Sunday, July 1, 2018 and provided on Monday, July 2, 2018 by the AP on the condition that its source not be revealed shows an helicopter abandoned by notorious French criminal Redoine Faid after his escape from a prison, in Gonesse, north of Paris, France. Faid serving 25 years for murder made an audacious escape from prison Sunday after a helicopter carrying several heavily armed commandos landed in a courtyard, freed him from a visiting room and carried him away. (AP Photo)

Helicopter pilot beaten during French criminal's escape

July 04, 2018 - 4:40 am

PARIS (AP) — The helicopter pilot who was taken hostage in the escape of one of France's most notorious criminals said the convict's accomplices beat and threatened him during his kidnapping.

Stephane Buy told RTL radio on Wednesday that two men at a flying club near Paris on Sunday "forced me (to take off) and warned me my family was in danger."

First, they made him touch down in a field so others on the breakout team could get onboard. At that point, the engine of the helicopter from the 1960s didn't restart.

Buy said the men hit him on the head and he briefly fell unconscious.

After several attempts, the engine restarted and they headed to Reau Prison to hustle Redoine Faid to freedom.

Buy was later released north of Paris.

AP Editorial Categories: