September 27, 2013 in Nation/World

Inmate stays put, reports an escape

Associated Press
 

TULSA, Okla. – Prisoner Joshua Silverman passed up a taste of freedom this week and called the police instead.

Silverman could have fled with two other inmates who stole the unattended transport van he was riding in, but he dialed 911 and alerted authorities about the escape.

“Uh, yes, ma’am, you’re probably not going to believe this, but I’m a prisoner in a van, and I’m here with a couple of these other cats,” Silverman politely explained to the 911 operator Tuesday. “A couple of the guys that were in the van jacked the van … at the hospital.”

Guards from a private prison transport company had stopped in Weatherford, about an hour west of Oklahoma City, to deliver some ill inmates to a hospital. They left eight other prisoners, including Silverman, in the van unsupervised.

With the guards gone, authorities say inmates Lester Burns and Michael Coleman kicked out a partition in the van and moved up front, where the keys remained and the motor was still running so the prisoners could have air conditioning.

Burns and Coleman drove the van for about a mile before ditching it and fleeing on foot.

Silverman, one of six inmates left behind, was reluctant to escape. Still shackled, he managed to get out of the van and dialed 911 with a cellphone police believe he might have found in the vehicle.

Silverman remained on the phone until a patrolman arrived on the scene.

Burns and Coleman were taken back into custody later that day.

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