Gallia County Jail, Gallipolis, Ohio
September 29, 2019
Four prisoners overpowered guards and escaped from the Gallia County Jail around 12:15 a.m. in a car stolen from a guard. The four then exchanged the vehicle for one left for them by an accomplice on the outside, authorities believe. They were recaptured in North Carolina the following day. The event marks the third escape from the jail since August.
The town of Cary, North Carolina, where three of the escapees were captured, released a statement saying that the prisoners were captured in the area of the Red Roof Inn around 2 a.m.
According to a Facebook post by the Gallia County Sheriff’s office, the fourth escapee was captured in Durham, North Carolina.
One of the escapees, Brynn Martin, also escaped from the jail earlier the same month, along with another prisoner.
According to The Washington Post, the Gallia County Jail has been the site of three escapes in the past two months. Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin told the Post that insufficient space and an aging facility ill-suited for current needs contributed to the security flaws at the facility.
A report from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction obtained by the Associated Press showed that the jail was at double its capacity and had failed to comply with 77 safety and security standards. For instance, “security perimeter doors weren’t secured during the inspection,” the report said. The report also cited the jail for “lacking a two-way radio system and failing to show whether corrections officers conducted contraband searches.”
“The jail was in an overall unhygienic condition and the physical plant was in a state of disrepair,” the report stated.
On Monday, September 30, just days after the escape, Kimbery New, mother of a prisoner at the Gallia County Jail, held a demonstration with friends in front of the Gallia County Jail, calling for answers regarding the condition of her son, Joshua Bessey. Bessey was recently transferred to a medical facility where he’s in critical condition. New says the jail is refusing to giver her any information regarding the incident at the jail that caused her son’s injuries.
“We can’t treat my kid properly medically if we don’t know what happened. The hospital is doing everything they can to try and figure it out themselves to treat my kid,” New told WCHS.
“4 ‘extremely dangerous’ inmates on the loose after overpowering female guards at jail,” ABC News, September 30, 2019.
“Mom wants answers regarding what happened to her son in the Gallia County Jail,” WCHS, September 30, 2019.
“A troubled Ohio jail, two cars and a shiv: How four ‘dangerous’ inmates escaped police custody“, The Washington Post, September 30, 2019.
“UPDATE | Last of four Gallia County escapees captured in North Carolina“, WSAZ, September 30, 2019.
“Community wants change at Gallia County Jail following escape“, Fox 28, September 30, 2019.
Galia County Sheriff (@GalliaCountySheriff), “****UPDATE**** Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin has released an update regarding the inmates who escaped from the Gallia County Jail on the morning of September 29, 2019.” [Facebook Post], September 30, 2019.
“AP Exclusive: Many problems at jail where inmates escaped“, Associated Press, October 3, 2019.
“UPDATE | 2 escaped inmates caught in Gallia County“, WSAZ, September 5, 2019.
Article published: 10/7/19
Header photo source: Broadcastify