October 16, 2006--Posted at 2:13 p.m. CDT
PARAGOULD, AR--Three inmates in Greene County tasted freedom for a couple hours Monday morning after escaping from the detention center. The strange part of their escape was they managed to get free without even opening their cell door. By simply busting a lock, climbing up a small closet, and propping up an air duct the inmates managed to get free.
"Basically they had knowledge of the plumbing chase and once they got up to the attic part, it was pretty simplistic to find a hole to get out," said Greene County Sheriff Dan Langston.
Once the inmates made it to the second floor, they wedged themselves out of a second story vent and dropped nine feet to the ground, but they were quickly apprehended. Two were found in a Paragould apartment hiding in the closet and the other was found just across the state line in Missouri.
31 year-old Jeridon Langston is currently incarcerated in the Dunklin County Detention Center waiting extradition. 22 year-old Joseph Skierkiewizc and 20 year-old Paul Kahne are back in Greene County. All three face charges for criminal damage to property and escaping. After Monday's escape Greene County is looking for a way to prevent other inmates from utilizing this apparent weakness.
"We're probably going to go up and reevaluate our plumbing chases and the lock system that is on those doors that go into the plumbing chase. It's going to be time consuming and expensive, but something that we have to do," said Langston.
Monday's escape is just another black mark for a jail that is suffering through extreme overcrowding and under staffing. The county hopes voters will recognize the jail's need next month when a quarter cent sales tax and two bond issues are put to a vote to expand the detention center facilities and staff.
"Even if the jail does not pass there is going to be a need for a million dollars, that it will take to revamp the old jail," said Langston.
In the meantime the jail is more crowded and down a jail cell as repairs are made to the cell where the inmates escaped.