After a St. Landry Parish prisoner escaped from custody Thursday, the recently convicted man stole a vehicle and led authorities on a 30-mile police chase at speeds of more than 130 mph before surrendering Friday morning in Rapides Parish, officials said.
Matthew Q. Keyes was captured at about 10 a.m. by Turkey Creek Police Chief Robert Moreau with assistance from several other law enforcement agencies, according to a news release from the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Keyes, 24, of Opelousas, had been on the run since about 3 p.m. Thursday, when he escaped out of the back of a St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office corrections van while the van was stopped at a red light on Evangeline Thruway and Mudd Avenue in Lafayette, officials have said.
During transport, Keyes was able to free himself from his leg restraints and handcuffs, a feat that is still under investigation, said Capt. Jimmy Darbonne, spokesman for the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Earlier that day, Keyes had been sentenced in a St. Landry Parish court to serve more than 20 years in prison on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, home invasion and two counts of burglary of a dwelling, the Sheriff’s Office has said.
Ron Carrier, assistant chief of the Pine Prairie Police Department, attempted to stop Keyes’ vehicle after the officer clocked the escapee traveling over the speed limit at about 9:50 a.m. in Pine Prairie, Darbonne said.
Carrier notified the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office, which in turn called Moreau in nearby Turkey Creek, Darbonne said.
Moreau set up a roadblock on La. 13, but Keyes, who was driving a GMC Envoy reported stolen out of Opelousas, drove around it and traveled onto La. 167, where he reached speeds in excess of 100 mph, Darbonne said.
Keyes eventually surrendered by driving onto the shoulder of Interstate 49 southbound, Darbonne said.
Keyes was unarmed at the time of his arrest, although authorities did find drugs in his possession, according to a news release.
Keyes was booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail before being transported back to the St. Landry Parish Jail, Darbonne said.
Keyes may also face charges in Evangeline Parish, the news release said.
Keyes escaped from custody while being taken to the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center to await trial on counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, aggravated flight from an officer, resisting an officer, illegal possession of stolen things and possession of burglary tools, LPCC Director Rob Reardon said Friday.
Those charges stem from a Feb. 6 incident when Keyes was stopped by officers in the 300 block of Moss Street after officers observed a person making a suspicious hand-to-hand transaction with a pedestrian, said Sgt. Mark Francis, a Lafayette Police Department spokesman.
Keyes sped away in the vehicle and struck a roundabout and a water meter, Francis said.
Keyes led officers on a foot pursuit before he was ultimately subdued by a stun gun, Francis said.
Officers found a bag of marijuana and stolen credit cards and identification cards in Keyes’ possession, Francis said.
While searching the vehicle, which had been reported stolen, officers found other stolen items and burglary tools, Francis said.