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Zion man flees courtroom, bounces off window in escape attempt
By Lee Filas | Daily Herald Staff

Travis Copeland


A frame captured from the video shows the suspect hurling himself at the hallway window. The bulletproof glass remained unbroken.


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Published: 1/15/2010 9:20 AM | Updated: 1/16/2010 12:15 AM

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A Zion man who tried to escape police by jumping through a window learned the hard way that what happens on television is not always possible in real life.

Authorities said Travis Copeland, 19, bolted out of a Lake County felony courtroom Wednesday and ran across the courthouse skyway over Washington Street in Waukegan. The skyway connects courtrooms inside the Lake County Government Center to courtrooms at the Lake County jail.

With Lake County Sheriff's deputies approaching and running out of options, Copeland - who was in court after violating a bond condition - tried to shoulder block his way through a window of the two-story skyway in an attempt to escape.

The bulletproof glass did not give way and Copeland, clearly staggering after hitting his head and shoulder, took two steps back and laid down on the floor with his hands spread over his head, and waited to be arrested.

Nine deputies arrived on the scene, several with their guns drawn, and surrounded him. Copeland was handcuffed and pulled back into the courtroom.

"Our court security team reacted in a professional and timely manner," said Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran. "Mr. Copeland was obviously desperate and our deputies responded accordingly and without hesitation."

Officials said Copeland was not listed as a flight risk, and therefore was not handcuffed inside the courtroom.

Copeland was returned to the courtroom following the failed escape attempt, and his bond was increased from $50,000 to $1.5 million.

Authorities said Copeland had been out on bond for disorderly conduct and aggravated battery of an officer before Wednesday. Additional charges are expected to be filed against him.