A criminal hid in a stagnant pond in a bid to escape from |police after getting the idea watching an Arnold Schwarzenegger film.

The violent offender, who has not been named, was wanted for recall to prison after he committed a serious assault after being released early from jail.

But after he was spotted by police he fled and took refuge in a pond, disguising himself from view using a technique used by the Hollywood actor in the 1980s film Predator.

He hid in the water in the Hydeneye area of Eastbourne after being chased by officers and police dogs.

PC Nick Baldwin-Charles, a dog handler, described how the man came out of the pond with his hands up “covered in algae with only his mouth and eyes showing”.

He said: “It was one of our more bizarre escapes.”

The 49-year-old PC, of Eastbourne, and police dog Sampson have now both received a Sussex Police award for their efforts in finding the crook.

Speaking to The Argus, PC Baldwin-Charles said: “He said he got the idea from a film – Predator.

“He fled the scene and headed towards a pond which was covered in algae.

“But when we arrived it was completely still.

“We could not see anything there.

“There were no tracks coming out of the pond so we came to the conclusion that he had stayed in the pond.”

It emerged the criminal was lying flat on his back in the pond.

PC Baldwin-Charles and Sampson searched gardens, marshland and ponds before the dog went into the stagnant water and the runaway was spotted lying face up and covered in algae.

The man was arrested and returned to prison.

PC Baldwin-Charles was given the prize at a ceremony in Uckfield.

Chief Inspector Jason Tingley, |Sussex Police’s district commander for Lewes, said: “It was great – when Sampson got on the stage he barked his thanks.”

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