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May 28, 2002

Four prisoners wounded in escape attempt

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While the man with the AK 47 may have been acting under the influence, a gang of prison inmates knew exactly what they were doing when they tried to dig their way to freedom. Ann-Marie has the story from Hattieville.

Ann-Marie Williams, Reporting

Four prisoners tried to escape from the medium security section of the Hattieville Prison sometime after 8:00 last night. However, diligent officers foiled the plans of two Guatemalans, one Honduran and a Colombian, dubbed the ringleader, by Prisons Superintendent Major Errol Gentle.

Major Errol Gentle, Superintendent of Prisons

“We had Juan Carlos Narvaez, who is a Colombian doing three years for drug trafficking. We had Serjio Martinez, a Honduran, who’s doing three years for burglary and three years for unlicensed firearm. Julio Aldana, a Guatemalan who is doing five years for burglary, and Terrencio Villanueva, a Guatemalan doing six years for burglary.”

Gentle says the four inmates, who roomed together, dug a hole through the concrete wall of their cell and got out. Little did they know a team of five officers were patrolling the immediate area.

Major Errol Gentle

“Because of the alertness of our officers, they were caught before they actually hit the perimeter fence. In that process, the four inmates were shot.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“Where were they shot?”

Major Errol Gentle

“We had three persons being shot in the leg and one was grazed on the side of this head?”

Ann-Marie Williams

“How were they seen?”

Major Errol Gentle

“The officers patrol the location every fifteen minutes, but you would imagine it wouldn’t take you that long for an inmate to move from one location to the next, and the officer did his patrol and found the hole and he sounded the alarm.”

The sound of the alarm alerted the officers to search the area where they found all four men going toward the outer perimeter fence. It is believe that one of the four prisoners was on his way to get his common-law wife over in the female section so that they both could be free.

Ann-Marie Williams

“What did they have in their position to actually try to dig out a hole to escape?”

Major Errol Gentle

“It doesn’t take much in prison Ann to start digging a hole. Right now we are going through that cell and we’re trying to find exactly they had, but from a piece of board sharpened to a piece of steel, it doesn’t take much at all. Most of the evidence we have not uncovered so far. Couple things we have found, but I would not like to mention it now until the police have seen it and determine if they would be using it or not.”

Gentle says all four inmates will be charged for escape and damage to property. Ann-Marie Williams for News 5.

Police report that a prison officer was also slightly wounded after the incident when a guard’s gun discharged after being accidentally dropped.

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