Authorities searching for man who escaped from jail transport vehicle

The Lexington Division of Police is assisting Fayette County Detention Center authorities to arrest a man who escaped from a jail transport vehicle.

Police say Mustafa Qasem, 21, who was in restraints, escaped from a jail transport vehicle shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday, according to a news release. Police had not apprehended Qasem as of Wednesday night.

Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said an officer who was driving near Old Frankfort Pike saw a jail transport vehicle that was pulled over. The officer stopped to see whether the detention officers needed help. Two detention officers told the officer Qasem got out of the window even though he was in restraints. He fled the area.

Qasem was on house arrest pending trial on charges of trafficking in a controlled substance, tampering with a security device, and possession of drug paraphernalia, Sgt. Jennifer Taylor of the detention center said in a release.

He was taken into custody Wednesday and was on his way to jail because community corrections officers determined that Qasem had violated the conditions of his home incarceration, Taylor said.

In September 2011, Qasem pleaded guilty to attempted trafficking in a controlled substance-opiate, according to Fayette County court records. Fayette Circuit Court Judge James B. Ishmael Jr. sentenced Qasem to 12 months in jail, records indicate.

Before his escape, a pretrial conference had already been scheduled for Sept. 11 in Fayette District Court on charges of criminal trespassing and possession of drug paraphernalia, jail records said.

Qasem is 6 foot and 165 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader