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Sep 27, 2005

Four escape from prison; two still at large

Story PictureIt may not be the revolving door we became used to in years gone by…but now and then prisoners do escape from Hattieville. Early this morning four inmates managed to bust out and tonight two remain on the loose. News Five’s Jacqueline Woods has more.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
Initial investigations reveal that all four inmates Alfonso Juarez, Carlos Coronado, Robert Gillett and Cameron Blease were drinking, smoking and giving trouble inside the juvenile facility where they were being held. The commotion alerted the security guard on duty who went to relocate the prisoners to a holding cell. It was during this process that it is believed the youths overpowered the guard and attacked him.

Marlon Skeen, C.E.O., Kolbe Foundation
“It seems as if they were drinking rubbing alcohol, not alcohol that we think of as rum. It was rubbing alcohol, anything to give them a high and smoking cigarette or marijuana?we are not certain which it was?that was smuggled in. We understand that one of the boys had a visit from a family member or a girlfriend of somebody and that person supposedly brought in both the drug for them, the smokes and also the rubbing alcohol. And that’s how they came about having fun.”

According to the Kolbe Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Marlon Skeen, the escape occurred during last night’s heavy downpour. To add to the problem, the facility experienced several blackouts during the bad weather.

Marlon Skeen
“They seriously beat the officer. He’s in the hospital right now in fact with multiple stitches and lacerations and badly beaten, and they made good their escape afterwards.”

While all four inmates managed to successfully scale the fence and get away, it would take prison guards and the police several hours to catch up with two of them.

Marlon Skeen
“We had a sighting shortly after that. Our prison bus coming to prison, the officers were alert, saw four people on the road, was not aware at the time that we had an escape. As soon as he arrived and found out that we had an escape, he immediately said that he saw four people on the roadside. We mobilised and went to that location, which is just about at Prosser at mile eight. We did a preliminary search and we didn’t see them. Obviously they know the bus and they were warned. We put people out on the bridge, we notified the checkpoint out there. Shortly after that a police vehicle passing by saw four individuals on the roadside again, this was a little further down, closer to Burton Canal Bridge. At that point in time the police vehicle stop and the four made a bolt for the waterside. Shortly after that, we had more people on the scene and two inmates were recaptured almost immediately, one first, which was Carlos Coronado, and shortly thereafter the other one, which was Juarez. Juarez in the process of recapturing was shot in the leg and is currently under medical treatment. Those two were brought back to the facility.”

Robert Gillett and Cameron Blease remain at large and are believed to be hiding somewhere in the mangroves off the Burdon Canal near the Western Highway. As law enforcement officers continue to look for the prisoners, we asked Skeen whether they are considering strengthening security at the juvenile facility.

Marlon Skeen
“Remember these boys, the one who is out Cameron Blease is only fifteen years old. So for all intents and purposes he’s a boy, but he’s also a well-seasoned criminal. And really with the criminal mind he has, he’s thirty, forty years old in mind. So we always have to bear that in mind. We treat those individuals as youths, but a lot of them are in here for very serious offences. And it’s a hard decision to make sometimes to relocate them to a maximum-security area where they are adults when really they should be kept with other juveniles. So really it’s one of those things that sometimes jump up and bite you back.”

Jacqueline Woods for News Five.

Both Robert Gillett and Cameron Blease are on remand for murder and are considered dangerous. If you have any information that could lead to the capture of the escaped inmates please call 911 or the nearest police station.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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