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Police Save Prisoner By Shooting Crocodile

Fri., Oct. 13, 1995

Police saved a fleeing prisoner from a 13-foot crocodile that was about to attack him in a remote Outback river.

Raymond Rankin, 36, was trying to escape from two officers when he ran into the Ord River in Australia’s far northwest, police said Thursday.

Sgt. Cliff Austin said the crocodile slid into the river from the opposite bank and swam towards Rankin as he waded across.

“The two policemen saw the croc and shouted warnings but he probably couldn’t hear,” Austin said of the Saturday incident. “They fired a couple of shots at the crocodile and it went under.

Rankin vanished into scrubland after reaching the opposite bank. Police didn’t know whether they hit the crocodile or not.

Rankin escaped Oct. 1 from a local jail, where he was awaiting trial on charges of threatening to kill, deprivation of liberty of another person, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, burglary and traffic offenses.

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