UPDATE: Detention Center Escapees Caught
ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – More details on the capture of two detainees who escaped from the Justice Center in downtown St. Louis, Friday morning.
St. Louis police say 34-year-old Vernon Collins jumped through a plate glass window of a home in Jennings, late Friday night, trying to elude officers who tracked him there.
Collins was injured and had to be taken to a hospital for treatment.
Police say he has since been returned to Justice Center custody.
The second detainee, 33-year-old David White, was captured Friday afternoon at a north St. Louis gas station.
Police say White has two broken legs— one he was being treated for in the justice center infirmary— and the other apparently suffered during his escape.
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Our earlier story:
ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Both men who escaped from a downtown St. Louis detention center have since been captured.
34-year-old Vernon Collins and 33-year-old David White were reported missing before seven Friday morning, after using a bedsheet rope to get out of the facility.
White was caught Friday afternoon at a North Broadway and Grand gas station.
Collins was captured around midnight in Jennings.
Our earliest story:
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) –The St. Louis Corrections Commissioner says a guard actually interrupted Friday morning’s downtown Justice Center escape in progress, but failed to act.
Gene Stubblefield tells KMOX a guard investigated noises coming from Vernon Collins and David White’s cell and saw a portable bunk resting on a wall of their cell in a ladder like position, “He simply asked an inmate for an explanation of the noise, and the inmate told him he was shadow boxing.”
Stubblefield says the guard checked again after hearing a noise later and accepted the inmate’s explanation that he was exercising.
By the time he checked an hour later the suspects had climbed through a ceiling, broke a rebar enclosed window and climbed down their bedsheets to freedom.
The escape from the jail’s medical unit was discovered by a nurse distributing medicine at about 6 a.m.
The escapees are 34-year-old Vernon Collins and 33-year-old David White. Collins is 6’1 and 170 lbs. and was being held on 1st Degree Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree, Resisting Arrest and Disarming a Peace or Correctional Officer.
White is 6’2, 180 lbs. and was being held on Burglary 1st, 2nd Degree Domestic Assault, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, 1st degree endangering the welfare of a Child and 2nd Degree Property Damage.
The inmates may have been out for up to 90 minutes before authorities realized they were gone, a fact Jeff Rainford, chief of staff for Mayor Slay, finds unacceptable.
Rainford described the guard as a ”knuckle-headed corrections officer” .
Stubblefield says the guard is an 8-year veteran and as far as he knows, had a clean work record.
He says the guard couldn’t give an explanation for not further investigating the noises and bunk against the wall. He says that when asked if he thought the bunk was in an unusual position, the guard answered, “Now I can tell you it looks strange.”
Anyone who sees either or both suspects should call 911 immediately.
Stay with KMOX and KMOX.com for more on this developing story.
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