DETROIT, Mich. —
Pearson stole Tolliver's uniform and ran from the courthouse, stopping only to force a woman from her minivan, then drove the vehicle from the scene, police said. He abandoned the minivan blocks from the courthouse, on the city's east side.
Dozens of officers fanned out across Detroit to search for Pearson.
The 911 caller said that when he encountered Pearson, the wanted man was walking east along Harper Avenue, a busy city street for cars that doesn't have a lot of pedestrians, particularly after dark.
"He's trying to get to the west side. He asked me how to get there," the caller said. "He's the only guy walking up Harper. Don't nobody walk up Harper. You better catch him before he gets to Mount Elliott."
Pearson will face additional charges related to the alleged attack and escape, Napoleon said. He was expected to be arraigned Wednesday.
"He's looking at a considerable amount of time," the sheriff said.
The sheriff, who oversees security at the courthouse, said he would prefer to have more than one deputy escorting inmates but that the county can't afford it. Tolliver, 63, joined the sheriff's department after retiring as a Detroit police officer.
"It's a dangerous job," Napoleon said. "We're streamlined as much as we can."
Napoleon said his office was trying to determine how the comb used to stab Tolliver was hidden from the time Pearson left the jail, to the inmate transport van and finally to the courtroom holding cell. He also said authorities are looking into whether official policies and procedures were followed.
Pearson also will be sentenced Sept. 23 in circuit court on his original carjacking and armed robbery conviction. He was facing 10 to 15 years in prison on those charges. He also was arraigned Tuesday on a warrant for failing to appear at Monday's sentencing, according to the sheriff's office.