2 in­mates must have taken days to pull off es­cape: NY gover­nor

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Two mur­der­ers who used power tools to es­cape in the “Shaw­shank Re­demp­tion”-style break­out from pri­son must have taken days to cut through steel walls and pipes and break through the bricks, New York Gov. An­drew Cuomo said Sun­day.

Au­thor­i­ties posted a US$100,000 re­ward for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to their cap­ture as they in­ves­ti­gated how the in­mates ob­tained the power tools they used in the week­end break­out.

“It was a so­phis­ti­cated plan,” Cuomo said. “It took a pe­riod of time, no doubt, to ex­e­cute.”

David Sweat, 34, was serv­ing a sen­tence of life with­out pa­role for the 2002 killing of a sher­iff’s deputy. Richard Matt, 48, had been sen­tenced to 25 years to life for kid­nap­ping, killing and dis­mem­ber­ing his for­mer boss in 1997.

“Th­ese are killers. They are mur­der­ers,” the gover­nor said. “There’s never been a ques­tion about the crimes they com­mit­ted. They are now on the loose, and our first or­der of busi­ness is ap­pre­hend­ing them.”

Of­fi­cials gave no de­tails on how the men man­aged to avoid de­tec­tion while cut­ting their way out. “They had to be heard,” Cuomo told ABC’s “Good Morn­ing Amer­ica.”

Af­ter the search is over, “we’ll go through the ex­act de­tails of what they did and how they did it to en­sure this never hap­pens again,” Cuomo said later.

Au­thor­i­ties set up road­blocks and brought in blood­hounds and he­li­copters. Hun­dreds of law en­force­ment of­fi­cers fanned out around the pri­son, about 32 kilo­me­ters south of the Canadian bor­der, fol­low­ing up on dozens of tips.

“They’re go­ing through garages, sheds, homes, stores,” said Dannemora lo­cal his­to­rian Peter Light, who worked at the pri­son as a cor­rec­tion of­fi­cer for 31 years and now runs the pri­son mu­seum in­side the fa­cil­ity.

But au­thor­i­ties ac­knowl­edged they did not have a good idea where the con­victs could be.

Dubbed “Lit­tle Siberia” by lo­cals, the pri­son houses nearly 3,000 in­mates, guarded by about 1,400 cor­rec­tion of­fi­cers. Sur­rounded by farm­land and forests, the pri­son is only about a 45-minute drive by car to Mon­treal.

Cuomo said the es­capees may have crossed into Canada or headed to an­other state.

“This is a cri­sis sit­u­a­tion for the state,” he said. “Th­ese are danger­ous men ca­pa­ble of com­mit­ting grave crimes again.”

Pri­son of­fi­cials found the in­mates’ beds in­side the 150-yearold Clin­ton Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity stuffed with clothes on Satur­day morn­ing in an ap­par­ent at­tempt to fool guards mak­ing their rounds. On a cut steam pipe, the pris­on­ers left a taunt­ing note con­tain­ing a crude Asian car­i­ca­ture and the words “Have a nice day.”

Of­fi­cials said the in­mates cut through the steel wall at the back of their cell, crawled down a cat­walk, broke through a brick wall, cut their way into and out of a steam pipe, and then sliced through the chain and lock on a man­hole cover out­side the pri­son.


This com­bi­na­tion made from pho­tos re­leased by the New York State Po­lice shows in­mates David Sweat, left, and Richard Matt.

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