LIMA, OH (WOIO) - On Friday, September 12, the Ohio officials in charge of the state's prison system and highway patrol praised local law enforcement for their quick action with the Ohio State Highway Patrol in creating a security perimeter around Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution that contained and aided in the recapture of three inmates who escaped Thursday night.
The inmates were apprehended a few hours after their escape within close proximity to the prison and all within the security perimeter.
"Last night Allen County Sheriff Samuel Crish and his deputies and Lima Police Department Chief Kevin Martin and his officers demonstrated that training and professionalism produce good results by working with the Ohio State Highway Patrol to create a security perimeter that succeeded in containing the inmates and facilitating their capture.
"This joint response is a model for how the patrol and local law enforcement can work together to protect Ohioans and bring fugitives to justice. On behalf of all Ohioans I'm grateful for their work and applaud their clear dedication to their public safety missions," said Ohio Department of Public Safety Director John Born.
"The quick work by the Patrol and the Allen County and Lima law enforcement responders was impressive and I appreciate it. We never like to have a problem which requires us to turn to our local partners for help but when we do we like knowing that they are there and are able to respond as well as they did last night. It was a strong response that produced the desired outcomes and produced them quickly," said Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Gary Mohr.
The first inmate, Lindsey Bruce (#508-485, Franklin County), was immediately apprehended on prison grounds. Thomas Lane, III (#640-654, Geauga County) was apprehended at 1:20 a.m. with the aid of a Patrol canine unit, and Clifford Opperud (#579-262, Warren County) was captured at 4:22 a.m. with the aid of a helicopter-mounted infrared camera that detected his heat signature and led a Patrol canine to him.
The severity of his crimes and threats that had been made against his life by other inmates led inmate Lane to be assigned the highest level security grade typically given to a first-time inmate, as well as a protective custody classification—the same ratings assigned to Cleveland kidnapper/rapist Ariel Castro, also a first time inmate. Criminal and administrative investigations are currently underway to determine what led to the inmates' escape, and outside experts will also be tasked to review DRC procedures to make any possible recommendations for improvements.
All three inmates have been transferred to the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown.
Below is an incident timeline from Thursday, September 11:
Inmates scale fence to cross roof of entry building and fence alarm immediately sounds
Ohio State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement notified of escapes
A staff member sees the three inmates running northbound from the prison and gives chase, apprehending Bruce.
Law enforcement security perimeter confirmed completed. Patrol begins bringing additional resources online including the Special Response Team, canine unit, helicopter and aircraft.
Friday, September 12
Lane apprehended by the State Patrol's SRT in a wooded area near the prison; a Patrol canine led officers to the inmate's location
Opperud apprehended hiding under a boat on a private residence, north of Bluelick Rd. A helicopter-mounted infrared camera tracked a hot spot which led officers to the area and a Patrol canine located the inmate.
10:55 a.m.: All three inmates transferred to the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown.