3 escape after inmates take over Billings jail
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3 escape after inmates take over Billings jail

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BILLINGS, Mont. — Three Big Horn County Detention Facility inmates escaped Friday after assaulting and binding a detention officer and dispatcher.

Friday night’s events led Big Horn County to lose control of its jail and ask for help from law enforcement in Yellowstone County.

Two of the escapees were arrested Monday night and early Tuesday morning by the Billings Police Department. One of the escapees tried to run from police. Another led police on a car chase that was called off due to public safety concerns after the suspect vehicle drove into oncoming traffic.

Before the escape Friday, inmates lured a detention officer into a cell block, assaulted him and bound him, according to a press release issued by the Big Horn County Sheriff’s office Tuesday. They then took a key, went to the dispatch area, and assaulted and handcuffed the dispatcher on duty.

Once in the dispatch area, the inmates got the dispatcher to show them how to open a garage door, which allowed them to escape. The three inmates who escaped have been identified as Andrew Parham, Anthony James Castro and Stephen Paddy Ryan Caplett.

Parham is still at large. Parham has been described as a 25-year-old white male, 6-foot-4-inches tall, weighing 185 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

At some point Friday night inmates apparently took over the jail, except for the dispatch center and control room, according to the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s office.

“We had gotten initial information, it sounded like it was a riot at the Big Horn County jail,” Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder said, describing how his agency became involved.

In its press release, the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office said that at no time did the other inmates leave the jail area.

“The inmates never went around the courthouse area or destroyed any other County property except in the secure detention area,” the press release says.

Before regaining control of the jail, Big Horn County Sheriff’s deputies set up a perimeter around the Hardin facility.

To regain control of the jail, a special team from the Yellowstone County Detention Facility dispatched to Hardin. One entryway was barricaded, and law enforcement used a flash-bang device to disorient and deter potential attackers.

Inmates inside the jail were searched and escorted out of the jail onto buses outside. They were brought back into the Hardin detention center after county officials regained control of the facility.

Linder said he was unaware of any injuries to law enforcement officers or inmates. The Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office echoed that in its press release.

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