Big Horn County Jail, Hardin, Montana
February 8, 2020

Three prisoners escaped from Big Horn County Jail after the Sheriffs office says the jail was “taken over by the inmates.”

According to a criminal complaint filed against some of the prisoners, the uprising started after one guard left the jail responding to a call. Three prisoners lured the sole remaining officer into a cell, attacked him, and took his keys. They, along with a fourth prisoner, then attacked the dispatcher, forced her to open a door for the prisoners, and handcuffed her. The three who lured the guard then escaped, while the fourth proceeded to let out other prisoners. Some of them helped him cover cameras and destroy light bulbs.

Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office sent specially trained officers to retake the jail. They used a flash-bang to disorient the prisoners, deployed pepper balls, removed a barricade prisoners had erected, and then ordered the prisoners to stand-down. No prisoners or guards were injured in the process, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The prisoners were then loaded onto school buses, while guards searched the jail.

Two of the three escapees were recaptured late February 10. They each face felony charges of Escape and Aggravated Kidnapping. Montana authorities believe that two people outside the prison helped the three escape. The third escapee had not been recaptured at the time of this writing.

The prisoner involved in releasing other prisoners faces four felonies: Assault on a Peace Officer by Accountability, Aggravated Kidnapping, Criminal Mischief, and Riot.

Citations

3 escaped Big Horn County jail same night inmates took over facility; 2 arrested in Billings“, Billings Gazette, February 11, 2020.

4th inmate involved in jail break facing 4 felonies“, KULR 8, February 16, 2020.

Criminal complaint reveals details in Montana jail escape“, Great Falls Tribute, February 14, 2020.

Escaped inmates still free after riot at Big Horn County Jail“, KULR 8, February 10, 2020.

More details emerge in Big Horn County Jail escape, takeover plot“, Billings Gazette, February 13, 2020.

Search continues for escaped inmates as Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office lifts Lockdown“, Missoulian, February 8, 2020.

 

Article published: 2/26/20

Header photo source: live.staticflickr.com.