Van Nuys Man Escapes From Courthouse Cell

A 36-year-old man escaped from a holding cell in the Van Nuys Courthouse after a court appearance on a narcotics possession charge, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday.

Lee Martin of Van Nuys was found missing from a holding cell about 6 p.m. Monday when authorities arrived to transport him back to Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles, Deputy Gabe Ramirez said.

Martin, who is charged with possession of cocaine and methamphetamine, was wearing a dark blue shirt and pants with the words Men's Jail printed on them when he disappeared, Ramirez said.

Martin is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. He has shoulder-length brown hair, hazel eyes and a mustache. He has two tattoos on his left arm, one that says "Grim Reaper" and another with the letters "SWP," Ramirez said.

Deputies would not reveal how Martin escaped. "The nature of the escape is under investigation," Ramirez said.

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