Update: Escapee captured, multiple new suspects arrested for aiding
By Dwayne Bremer
Jul 1, 2014, 20:27
Update 3:15 p.m. Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam said Wednesday that escapee Perry D. Thomas has been captured. Details are sketchy at this time, but Adam said authorities nabbed Thomas at a residence in Biloxi. Thomas was apparently hiding under a bed at the residence. Earlier on Wednesday at least five others were arrested in connection with the escape.
Read more in Saturday's Sea Coast Echo.
Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam said Wednesday that at least five new suspects have been arrested in connection with the escape of inmate Perry Thomas, who scaled two razor-wire fences at the Hancock County Jail on Sunday.
"We are arresting everyone who assisted him," Adam said. "We can place all of these people with him and we have more to arrest. Hopefully, we can have Mr. Thomas back in custody soon."
The new suspects will be charged with aiding and abetting an escape, Adam said. The suspects are currently being questioned and booked at the Hancock County Jail, Adam said.
The Sea Coast Echo will update this story as more information becomes available.
A Hancock County inmate is at large and three women were arrested for helping him after a daring escape from the Hancock County Jail on Sunday.
Hancock County Chief Deputy Don Bass said Tuesday that his office is seeking information on the whereabouts of Perry D. Thomas, 28.
Thomas and another inmate, Montrell McPherson, 21, scaled three fences--two laden with razor-wire--at the jail on Sunday afternoon.
The escape happened when Thomas, McPherson, and other inmates were led into an outside recreation yard for their daily hour of recreation about 5 p.m. Sunday, officials said.
The outside yard at the county jail is equipped with razor-wire around the top of the 15-foot fence.
The yard is inside a larger area which is also guarded by a razor-wire fence and another perimeter fence surrounding the exterior of the jail complex.
No corrections officers were on the yard with the inmates at the time of the escape, officials said.
It was the first escape from the Hancock County Jail since it opened in 2012.
The last jail escape in Hancock County occurred more than a decade ago, coincidentally, when an inmate climbed out of a recreation area at the old jail on Court Street.
Bass said when Thomas and McPherson escaped from the jail perimeter, a woman, Rhakeea Lyons, 25, was waiting in a vehicle which was parked down the road from the jail.
Thomas jumped in the vehicle with Lyons and left without McPherson, Bass said.
McPherson, who was on foot, was apprehended shortly afterwards by deputies, Bass said.
McPherson was seriously injured the razor wire and was treated at Hancock Medical Center, Bass said.
McPherson reportedly needed more than 20 staples to close wounds in his arms and legs.
Thomas also suffered injuries from scaling the fences, but the extent of his injuries is not known, officials said.
After leaving with Lyons, Bass said, Thomas made his way to Pearlington, where he hitched a ride with another woman.
Shondreka Lee, 25, allegedly gave Thomas a ride to Slidell, where he got a ride from yet another woman, Shemeki Ray, 20.
Lyons, Lee, and Ray were all located and arrested for their respective roles in the escape.
All three have been charged with aiding and abetting a fugitive.
Thomas was in jail for several charges stemming from a traffic stop in Waveland on Saturday.
According to Waveland police, officers attempted to stop Thomas' vehicle about 5 p.m. Saturday and a short pursuit ensued.
Thomas' vehicle crashed into a pole on Hart Street and he fled the scene, but was quickly apprehended, officials said.
He was charged with four counts of running a stop sign, reckless driving, failure to stop, contempt of court, and providing false information. Thomas also had an outstanding warrant for sexual battery and is on probation with the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
Bass said several state and federal agencies assisted Hancock County in the search for Thomas. He said St. Tammany Parish deputies and other Louisiana officials have been helping, too.
Thomas is a black male who is about five feet three inches tall and weighs about 135 pounds. He has a short hair cut and several gold teeth.
Bass said anyone with information about Thomas' whereabouts or his escape can call Hancock County Central Dispatch at 228-255-9191.