Benton County Jail inmate escapes through open door

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. – A Benton County Jail inmate briefly escaped on Thursday afternoon.

According to the Chief Scott Souza of the Benton County Corrections Department, just before 1:30 p.m. the inmate, who was working in the kitchen, saw a door that had been opened by construction workers. Taking advantage of the situation, the inmate walked past the contractors.

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But his escape was short-lived. About 9 minutes later after scaling a wall, running across West Quinault Avenue and stealing and changing into different clothes at a department store he was found by law enforcement.

The inmate was rebooked into the Benton County Jail on fresh charges of escape in the first degree and felony harassment.

“Because of improvements made in the Jail, high-resolution cameras were able to document the offender’s actions. Information from the video and the contractors will assist the Department in further improving security protocols during this construction period. The Corrections Department wishes to thank the contractors on site for their quick actions in alerting Corrections staff, and local law enforcement in their fast response to the incident,” Chief Souza wrote in a press release.