Agreed. Cross ties don't suit every horse, and if the horse is not familiar with them, they can really panic. And once a horse learns he can break away, he's going to try from time to time.
First thing I'd do is see if he ties well in a single tie. If so, the problem is the cross ties and not tying in general. If its just cross ties you can work on those a little at a time. If he has tying issues in general I'd get the blocker tie ring and do some specific work on tying/pulling back, etc.