Police Chief ‘Deeply Troubled’ by Prisoner’s Escape

The police chief in Central Falls, Rhode Island, says he is "deeply troubled" by the escape of a prisoner at the city's privately run detention center.

James Morales escaped from the Wyatt Detention Facility on New Year's Eve and was captured Thursday.

Police said they found a white bed sheet, still hanging from the facility, covered in blood. They said once Morales got to the ground, he ran up a hill and jumped a fence.

During the intense manhunt, officers say they found his tan prison clothing, also saturated in blood, near exit 2A on I-95 in South Attleboro.

In a city council meeting on Monday, council members grilled Col. James Mendonca on why police did not alert residents as to why Morales was initially gone.

Mendonca told them it was because it took hours for corrections officers to discover he was gone, and then another hour and 13 minutes to alert authorities. He says by the time police found out, it was clear Morales was already in Massachusetts and there was no imminent danger in Central Falls.

Mendonca says the prison should have notified police of the escape much sooner.

Three corrections officers and one supervisor are now on leave pending an investigation.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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