NEWS

Escaped convict hurt in highway shootout

A convict who failed to return to Korydallos Prison after a day’s leave last month is recovering in hospital after being shot while trying to avoid being recaptured yesterday. Spyros Christodoulou, 32, began serving a 16-year sentence for bank robberies on July 2 and yet was granted a day’s leave from prison on September 19. He failed to return. Yesterday morning, a police patrol saw Christodoulou driving a stolen car north along the Athens-Lamia highway and alerted other officers, who set up an ambush at the Afidnes tollbooth. As Christodoulou passed the post, police ordered him to stop. He immediately tried to turn his car around and drive off in the other direction. When he found his way blocked, he allegedly pulled a hand grenade out of a bag and prepared to pull out the pin. Police then fired, shooting him once in the leg and twice in the buttocks. He is under guard in the Amalia Fleming hospital. Officers found a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a pistol and ammunition in the car. Christodoulou was convicted in January for armed robberies and a series of lesser offenses.