Nicholas A. Valentino, 26, is wanted by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office after he escaped from the back of a police car Friday afternoon in Lake Villa.

Police and canines are actively searching for a handcuffed fugitive who escaped from the back of a squad car near Lake Villa Friday afternoon.

Nicholas A. Valentino, 26, who has no permanent address, escaped from custody around 1:35 p.m. Friday in the 37400 block of North Cremona Avenue in unincorporated Lake Villa.

Sheriff’s deputies were initially dispatched to a residence in the area for a drug investigation, according to Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli.

While speaking to Valentino, deputies learned he had two outstanding arrest warrants. He was arrested and placed in the backseat of a squad car.

Covelli said that deputies briefly returned to the residence to collect evidence, and when they returned to the squad car Valentino had escaped.

Valentino has an active Lake County arrest warrant for possession of a stolen vehicle and an active DuPage County arrest warrant for unlawful drug possession.

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He was last seen wearing a gray t-shirt, black sweatpants, and gym shoes. He is 6-foot-2, 170 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes, with a short beard. Valentino had his hands cuffed behind his back.

“Sheriff’s deputies are actively searching the area. If you see Valentino please dial 911,” the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said.