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4 Feb, 2022 08:36

Police catch notorious ‘Galician Rambo’ a year after 3rd jailbreak

The former Spanish commando and convicted murderer evaded arrest by hiding in the mountains
Police catch notorious ‘Galician Rambo’ a year after 3rd jailbreak

Alfredo Sanchez Chacon, 63, also known as the ‘Galician Rambo’, had been hiding in the mountains and woodlands of the northwestern Spanish region since last March, when he failed to return to the Monterroso prison in Lugo after a one-day furlough. The convicted murderer and notorious escape artist was due to be released in 2025.

A former Spanish Legion serviceman and army commando, Chacon used his survival skills to live alone in the wilderness, avoiding capture for nearly a year. Residents were on alert due to constant food theft, and after a hunter spotted the fugitive camping out in the forest. 

Chacon was finally apprehended early Thursday morning near A Coruna, after he tried to break into a house to steal food. Two people heard noises and went out to chase him. They also called their neighbor, an off-duty member of the Civil Guard, Spain’s law enforcement agency. The three men saw Chacon with a backpack and a tent on his back heading for the road. 

The convict had trouble running due to the weight of the supplies he was carrying, and because he was limping, El Pais reported. He attempted to resist, nonetheless. Manuel Vilela, the guardsman who made the arrest, told reporters that he fired two warning shots, but Chacon did not stop.

“He wielded a stick and wanted to hit me with it. I moved away, I hit him with a collapsible baton four or five times,” Vilela said, as quoted by El Mundo. “I threw myself on top on him, used a neck restraint, and that was the end of it.”

A Civil Guard source described Chacon to El Pais as “pretty old and very broken” at the time of the arrest. Spanish media said the man was emaciated.

A photo on social media purportedly shows a makeshift hideout built in the woods. 

The son a civil guardsman himself, Chacon was first jailed in 1997. He had been on the run for eight years and had a criminal record in several Spanish regions. The charges included the murder of a 24-year-old man, an attempted murder, several rapes, 23 robberies, and several shootouts with the Civil Guard. He had been arrested 38 times.

The authorities had problems identifying him, as his most recent photo was taken a decade earlier. They finally managed to grab the fugitive in March 1997, when he visited a brothel after seven months living in a tent in the mountains.

Chacon spent just nine months behind bars. Along with a fellow inmate, he climbed down a wall using a rope made of bed sheets and fled to Portugal. After hiding for two years, Chacon was recaptured in a Galician bar in 1999. 

He escaped again in 2001, but was detained the same day.

According to Spanish media, police are investigating thefts and other crimes Chacon may have committed during his third escape. He now faces an extension of his prison term.