A spoon was used in the bold prison escape of a convicted murderer in Russia this week. According to authorities, 32-year-old inmate Oleg Topalov used the utensil to dig through the ceiling of his prison cell.
Topalov, convicted on charges of murder and illegal possession of firearms, was being held at Moscow’s infamous Matrosskaya Tishina detention center. Officials from the Federal Prison Reserve confirmed that the inmate successfully escaped the maximum security facility early Tuesday morning.
Authorities believe that Topalov used a spoon to tunnel through the cement and brick wall surrounding the ventilation shaft in his cell.
The convicted murderer apparently climbed through the resulting hole and onto the roof above his cell block, where he made his way to the roof of a nearby building.
Oleg Topalov completed his escape by using several sheets knotted together to lower himself onto the grounds of the adjacent Gilyarovskogo psychiatric hospital.
According to authorities, the fugitive then fled the area on foot, moving in an unknown direction. His daring spoon prison escape marks the first successful breakout attempt from a Moscow detention facility in more than a decade.
The Matrosskaya Tishina detention center, known for housing high-profile criminals such as Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Sergey Magnitsky, employs maximum security measures.
However, the facility is nearly a century old and reportedly suffers from disrepair. According to Kristina Belousova, a representative with the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service, the building’s structural state made Topalov’s spoon prison escape possible.
“Because of the building being run-down, Topalov had no difficulty in widening the vent of the air-shaft, through which he got to the prison’s roof,” Belousova explained. “Using sheets tied one to another he managed to go down the wall, then jump over the fence and run away.”
Russian authorities have launched a massive manhunt to locate the fugitive prisoner and have reportedly offered a substantial reward for his capture. Following his daring escape, Topalov’s mother issued a plea to investigators, asking them to spare her son’s life.
“I do not want [police] to fire a bullet into his head!,” Yekaterina Topalova exclaimed to local media. “He turned himself to police before his arrest. We do not believe he is guilty and we want to prove this to everyone. We want more time for this!”
In tandem with the search for the missing inmate, police are reportedly investigating the possibility that some of the prison’s employees may been involved in the incident. Once he is found, Oleg Topalov’s bold spoon prison escape could reportedly result in an additional 40 years being tacked onto his existing sentence.