He made a clean getaway.
The Oregon man who escaped custody this week simply strolled out of his cell — which a coronavirus-cleaning crew didn’t lock, according to officials.
David Dahlen, 24, was arrested Monday afternoon on a warrant for a slew of charges for allegedly ramming a stolen truck into Officer Jennifer Pierce on Christmas Eve, including attempted murder and attempted assault on a public safety officer.
While Dahlen was in a holding cell, a cleaning crew accidentally went inside — then left the door unlocked when they left, Portland Police Bureau said.
“It looks like the cleaning crew opened the holding cell, thinking nobody was in there, and then noticed, ‘Oh, there’s someone in there,’ and shuts the door. But the door may not have latched all the way,” Deputy Police Chief Chris Davis told The Oregonian.
The force admitted that Dahlen likely just “pushed the door from the inside, found it to be insecure, and got out.”
“Investigators believe Dahlen found his way to a stairwell, which are unlocked for fire safety reasons, and exited the building,” the bureau said.
The building was locked down when detectives realized he was missing, but he had already fled, police said. He was still on the lam Tuesday, now with an added charge for the escape, police said.
Davis admitted it was a “system failure,” telling The Oregonian, “We’re looking at every weak point in that system to fix it and keep this from happening again.”
“I don’t know of a time where this has ever happened before,” Davis said, insisting that the cell’s door should have automatically locked.
Dahlen is accused of driving a stolen pickup truck into Pierce at a Portland gas station, pinning her between the truck and her patrol car at one point, witnesses told police.
Pierce, a 15-year police veteran, then fired her gun at the stolen ride after she was struck a second time, The Oregonian reported. She suffered a fractured pelvis but has since been discharged from a hospital.