Jailbreak Will Trigger Inmate Transport Changes

By Jeff Neumeyer

October 22, 2012 Updated Oct 22, 2012 at 6:02 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) --- A dash for freedom turns out to be a bad idea for an Allen County jail inmate.

Sheriff's department officials say the way prisoners are moved to and from court will be changed after a prisoner bolted Monday in the county's first jailbreak in years.

The inmate took off on foot in his bright orange jail suit, but he was free less than ten minutes before he was back in custody.

Michael Warner faced a handful of charges, including two felony domestic battery counts, when he went in front of a judge before noon at the Bud Meeks Justice Center.

We're told when he was tagged with a new criminal mischief charge and was ordered held without bond, he caused a commotion in the courtroom.

Rather than wait to chain him to a group of other inmates, he was hustled out by himself, his hands cuffed in front of his body, on his way back to lockup.

Chief Deputy Dave Gladieux says Warner acted at first like he was going to go quietly.

" He started that direction for a few feet, and then all of a sudden he spun around, and took off running down the opposite direction out of a fire exit," said Gladieux.

Once outside, Warner climbed up on the elevated railroad tracks nearby and started running westbound.

With a host of bailiffs and officers in pursuit, he made a bad move, jumping a razor-wire fence behind a business, realizing too late he trapped himself inside an enclosed area.

" He couldn't get out, and so it didn't work out so well for him. He had a few cuts on him, nothing serious. He didn't have to go to the hospital or anything. We just simply brought him back here," said Gladieux.

In the 1990's, inmates kicked out an upstairs window in the jail, and tied bed sheets together to drop down and make a getaway.

Gladieux believes the most recent escape involved an inmate pushing through particle board during a jail renovation.

This new escape will prompt a change in how inmates are moved to and from court.

" You have to have fire exits. A procedure we're probably going to have to change is whenever we escort an inmate out of a courtroom like that, he's going to have to be handcuffed behind his back, makes it a little more difficult for him to run," said Gladieux.

Warner's ten minutes of freedom will likely cost him dearly. He now faces felony escape charges on top of his other trouble with the law.

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