He had been sentenced to 24 months in prison for sexual assault.
A Bordeaux man in his thirties escaped on Wednesday during his transfer to prison in Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales), reports France Bleu Roussillon.
The man had been convicted of sexual assault in his absence and had been the subject of a search file ever since.
Wednesday morning, he had been arrested during a banal check and had been presented to magistrates at the Palace of Justice.
The police then had to transfer him to prison.
He opened the door
But during a traffic slowdown, the man simply opened the door and escaped his captors.
According to France Bleu, witnesses saw him walking peacefully in handcuffs in the city center of Perpignan.
A large force of law enforcement was deployed to find him.
Wednesday evening, he was still wanted.