Escape Forces Lockdown
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News.
Matthew Wean, 19, and Shane Ross, 20, ran off into the woods near the Gilchrist County Recycling Center, just 1.5 miles from two schools in Bell. Gilchrist County sent a "Code Red" phone warning to almost 400 homes in the area telling residents to be on the lookout at 10:34 A.M. Monday.
At 12:10, a combined force of almost 100 Department of Corrections staff, Gilchrist County sheriff's deputies and K-9 units arrested Wean and Ross about 2 miles from the recycling center.
"Any time we have an incident like this, it's thoroughly investigated," says Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger. "At this point, it's still early, but at this point, all of our proper checks were done, all out policies and procedures were followed."
Gilchrist County schools sent a phone message to Bell parents with information on what happened and letting them know that everyone was safe.
The Inspector General's Office is investigating the escape.
Wean was due to be released in February, 2010 and Shane Ross in April, 2011. Both were convicted on grand theft and burglary charges. They both now face an extra 15 years behind bars for escaping.
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