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Lexington Police search for jail escapee

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Police say Mustafa Qasem was being taken to the Fayette County Detention Center in a jail vehicle when he slipped out of his handcuffs and got away. Now they're trying to figure out how he escaped.

From the air and ground, authorities hunted 20-year-old Mustafa Qasem. Jail officials said he had been under home incarceration and when officials went to check on him today, he was in violation of his incarceration conditions. They said they took him into custody, but just before he arrived at the jail, he slipped out of his handcuffs and escaped from the vehicle. For hours this afternoon police and jail officials searched for him.

They said Qasem was wearing an ankle monitor and they narrowed it down to a strip of buildings near the train tracks on Werne Drive.

"When I saw the knife I knew something wasn't right," said a man who works at a garage in the area. He didn't want to be identified, but said Qasem used his garage's knife to slice off the monitor. Police found it under a table in the garage.

"He must've just cut his ankle bracelet off and peeled out on us," he said.

Workers at another business say they saw him run past their shop and onto the train tracks. That's the last time police say anyone saw Qasem.

"I hope he's not around back here sometime this evening," said the man who found the knife.

He says he's glad he didn't stumble upon Qasem while he was allegedly in his garage.

"He would have definitely got confronted, no doubt about it," he said.

Police say Qasem was awaiting trial on charges of trafficking in a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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