COVINGTON — Things got exciting over at the Newton County Detention Center Wednesday afternoon when a prisoner was able to slide under the closing door of the sally port and escape. He was shortly caught and re-incarcerated.
“He had freedom for a few minutes and earned himself another charge,” said Sheriff Ezell Brown.
Treveon Woods, 17, of South Carolina was observed around 4:30 p.m. by a deputy in the 10,000 block of Flat Shoals Road riding a Suzuki dirt bike without a helmet and no tag, according to NCSO Public Information Officer Michael Cunningham.
“When the deputy ran the VIN number, he discovered the dirt bike was stolen out of Newton County,” Cunningham said. “The deputy and the suspect got into a brief altercation at the scene and then he was taken into custody.”
The charges at that time were receiving stolen property, riding without a helmet, no tag and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.
The suspect was then transported to the Newton County Detetion Center and when the patrol car pulled into the sally port of the jail, the deputy took his prisoner out of the vehicle before the automatic doors were completely down on the ground, the sheriff said.
“He (the prisoner) slid under the door through about a 10- to 12-inch opening,” he said. “Then, the outside gate to the jail is on a timer and he managed to beat the timer and get through that gate.”
Cunningham said Woods had fled in the direction of General Mills and with the help of officers from the Covington Police Department, they were able to re-capture the suspect about an hour later.
Woods was also charged with an additional charge of obstruction of law enforcement officers and escape, both felonies.
Sheriff Brown said the incident is under review.
“If it happened to be officer error, we will have to deal with that, and we’re looking at putting up some signs in the sally port, the timer on the gate and policy issues,” he said.
In another case, on July 19 a prisoner was able to escape from a patrol unit and was not captured again until the next day, Cunningham said.
Keith Millian Wright, 40, of 10 Harrison Circle has subsequently been arrested on charges of false imprisonment, battery under the Family Violence Act, obstruction or hindering law enforcement officers, interference with government property and escape.
Few details of the incident were available, but Cunningham said deputies were called to Harrison Circle by a resident who wanted an escort because she could see lights on in her house.
“When deputies entered the residence, they found Mr. Wright sitting on a couch and he was taken into custody,” Cunningham said. “He was placed in a patrol vehicle and while deputies returned to the house to see if anyone else was in there, he escaped from the back seat.”
He was captured the next day with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service.