When an inmate escaped from the Armstrong County Jail, tips from community members helped track the man's every move. In less than 48 hours, he was back behind bars facing new charges.
In July of 2015, an inmate who was granted special privileges for good behavior took advantage of the opportunity and escaped from the jail. The inmate was outdoors awaiting the arrival of a food truck when he disappeared.
While the escapee was on the run, he murdered a woman and stole two of her vehicles, according to 9-1-1 Coordinator Ron Baustert, who works for the Armstrong County Dept. of Public Safety.
"Quick capture may have prevented an untold number of other people being killed," Baustert said.
As soon as word regarding the jail break hit the community, the Armstrong County Department of Public Safety's 9-1-1 communication center received dozens of calls with tips as to the man's whereabouts.
According to Baustert, each of these tips taken by dispatchers was immediately entered into the county's computer aided dispatch (CAD) software.
This information included addresses and locations where the escapee was spotted, the description of the vehicle he stole while on the run and locations of where vehicles that matched that description were spotted. This information was stored digitally and accessible by all dispatchers so that each had access to the details of the CAD narrative in real time.
"It was important we had this information and the ability to enter it in quickly so we could share it with law enforcement officers in our community," Baustert said.
The man was ultimately captured when a 9-1-1 caller reported that the man had knocked on her door asking for help. The woman refused to offer help and instead called 9-1-1. At that time, the man fled in his stolen truck.
Local police quickly spotted the vehicle and were led on a short chase. The escapee then lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a police cruiser. He was apprehended and taken back into custody.
In less than three days, a convicted murderer who escaped from a Kankakee County jail was back behind bars.
Kamron Taylor was an inmate at the Jerome Combs Detention Center in Kankakee. He was convicted of murder and was awaiting sentencing for that crime when he escaped from jail.
To escape, Taylor choked and beat a corrections officer, then donned the man’s clothing and walked out of the detention center. He stole the officer’s vehicle and made his way to Chicago.
While Taylor was on the lam, dozens of tips came in to the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office. Becky Powell, Investigation’s Office Manager for the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office, entered each tip into the records system used by the sheriff’s office. This data entry helped to build a robust file on Taylor so that no piece of evidence or minor detail was overlooked.
Having been in the county’s corrections facility already, Taylor’s record was already detailed, which is what ultimately helped identify him when he was captured by Chicago police.
When Chicago police apprehended Taylor, he repeatedly gave a fake name to Chicago authorities to avoid going back to jail. However, Chicago police contacted the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office as they were confident that the man they had in custody fit the description of Kankakee’s escaped convict.
A positive identification was made when Taylor’s neck tattoo of the name Gertrude was found in the records and corrections system used by the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office. Fingerprints taken by Chicago police further proved Taylor’s true identity.
“As soon as the Chicago police reached out to us, we were able to provide them with the identifying information that they needed to get Kamron Taylor back into Kankakee’s custody,” Powell said.
Taylor was sentenced to 107 years in prison for murder and has since been named as a suspect in at least one other unsolved murder case.
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