After a nearly monthlong, multistate manhunt, a man who escaped police custody while handcuffed in Richmond has been arrested in Philadelphia.
Ameer Ali, formally known as Trezith R. Smart, 38, of Newport News, escaped Aug. 19 from the back seat of a police SUV in Richmond’s Carver neighborhood. A manhunt for Ali led authorities from Virginia to North Carolina to Pennsylvania, where he was arrested Monday morning, Richmond police said.
Aiding in the search were U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force teams, the Drug Enforcement Administration and several state and local police departments.
Ali is being charged with obstruction of justice, destruction of property, petit larceny, failure to appear, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
Richmond police had detained Ali at the Greyhound bus terminal earlier on the day he escaped. The Richmond department said he was wanted on a drug warrant issued by Newport News police.
Police said Ali was handcuffed with his hands behind his back and buckled into the back passenger-side seat. At 3:38 p.m. at Leigh and Belvidere streets, Ali was able to move his manacled hands to the front of his body, unbuckle the seat belt, unlatch the side door and escape, police said.