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Prisoners Escape During Burger Stop

December 5, 1997

OWATONNA, Minn. (AP) _ While one prison guard ran into a Burger King to order lunch, inmates threw the remaining guard out of a van and drove off. One of the 11 prisoners was still missing Thursday night.

Acting Police Chief Gene Fisher said two or three prisoners ``jerked″ the remaining guard out of the 15-person van and nearly ran him over as they drove off.

The van was found in a residential area four to five blocks away with eight prisoners still inside. Two were captured within 15 to 20 minutes. The guard was not injured.

The missing prisoner was identified as Homer Land, 40, who was convicted of battery in Florida in 1992. Authorities said Land is not believed to be armed, but is considered dangerous.

Fisher said the van was picking up prisoners on a trip from Kansas to Florida when it stopped around lunch time Thursday in Owatonna, 60 miles south of Minneapolis.

Workers at the Burger King didn’t realize what happened until customers told them.

``There was a guy who came in and ordered 11 Whoppers and 11 drinks,″ said Burger King manager Jason Kvam. ``He was getting the drinks ready and all of a sudden took off and left the food behind.″

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