Woman runs, gets arrested then breaks out of police cruiser

Zoe Greszler • Apr 10, 2018 at 4:00 AM

A local female fugitive broke out of a police cruiser after being arrested Sunday morning and remained at large until Monday morning.

The ordeal began when Norwalk Police Sgt. Michael Biller noticed a vehicle leaving a residence known for housing fugitives, so he drove past the vehicle to check for anything suspicious, according to Norwalk police. Biller noticed Frank Short, 40, of Norwalk, was sitting in the front passenger’s seatm “trying to conceal his identity” with a hooded sweatshirt, police said. Short was wanted by the Huron County Sheriff’s Office.

Biller pulled over the vehicle on Whittlesey Avenue, near Bouscay Avenue, for a broken tail light violation, police said. However, as the vehicle came to a stop but before Biller could exit his cruiser, a woman who had been lying down in the backseat exited the vehicle and tried to flee. She was later identified to be Lillian K. Denson, 20, of New London, who was wanted on several warrants from the sheriff’s office.

“(Biller) caught her in the yard of 173 Whittlesey, where she resisted arrest and she attempted to prevent being handcuffed,” interim Police Chief Mike Conney said.

In the meantime, Short was seen fleeing the vehicle as well. He was later apprehended by police.

“The driver/owner of the vehicle (who hasn’t been charged) exited the car and approached Biller while he was wrestling Lillian and trying to secure Lillian’s hands in handcuffs,” Conney said.

“She reached down and apparently was about a foot away from his firearm, which is never a smart thing to do — especially in this type of a situation,” Conney said. “Apparently she began to retrieve items from the ground that fell out of Lillian’s purse. This allowed Lillian to get to her feet and made things more difficult for Sgt. Biller since his attention was divided. Eventually Lillian was secured in handcuffs.

“It was quite the turn of events.”

Biller then put Denson in his cruiser while another officer helped to secure the driver in another cruiser. 

“He put (Denson) in the back of his cruiser with the windows up,” Conney said.

The interim chief said Biller closed the door and was dealing with the driver in the other cruiser when Denson escaped again.

“The first theory was that Frank Short must have doubled back and let her out, but that wasn’t the case,” he said. “There’s a divider between front and back of the cruiser. You can open the slide and hear and communicate with someone in the back. That slide was not secured and Denson crawled through there.”

The initial police report said Denson remained at large Sunday. However, she was then apprehended around 11 a.m. Monday in an apartment on Sycamore Drive.

“When these things happen, they happen so quick and with so many moving parts,” Conney said. 

Denson remained in the Huron County Jail Monday for a probation violation and escape charges. Short also remained in jail under the charge of contempt. 

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