Florida searches for inmate escaped from work-release center

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 06, 2015 2:36 PM

By Karen Brooks

(Reuters) - A Florida inmate escaped his minimum-security facility near West Palm Beach early on Thursday, sending state law enforcement on a manhunt for the second escapee in the area this week, police said.

Antwane Anglin, 27, ran from officers at the West Palm Beach Community Release Center just before 3 a.m., according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

Anglin was serving time on a drug charge and had just under 19 months to go in his sentence when he slipped off the facility grounds after a late-night inmate count and was seen returning in a vehicle a few hours later, said McKinley Lewis, communications director for the department.

When police tried to make contact, he ran, Lewis said.

The facility for low-risk offenders, which has no perimeter fencing, has dormitory style housing and a low staff-to-inmate ratio.

Inmates have little time left on their sentences, are not considered a threat, and are responsible for getting themselves to and from work assignments within the community, Lewis said.

Anglin's escape comes just two days after Phillip Peletz, 54, escaped from a supervised prison work squad at the Loxahatchee Road Prison during the late morning hours on Tuesday, according to the department.

Peletz was doing time on theft charges at the facility near West Palm Beach and had about three years left on his sentence, according to the prison website.

The men are among five who have fled minimum security facilities in the past three weeks, according to the department's website. Two, including one who escaped Monday, have been caught.

The corrections department saw 93 escapes across the state in the 2013-14 fiscal year, Lewis said. All but five were returned to the system, he said.

The vast majority of escapees are from one of the state's 35 work-release centers, Lewis said. Each of those facilities houses anywhere from 70 to 150 inmates, he said.

Prison escapes from minimum-security facilities are fairly commonplace, but the nation was riveted when two dangerous prisoners in New York cut through cell walls, climbed along a catwalk, shimmied through a steam pipe and escaped out of a manhole in June.

The two were found three weeks later - one was killed, the other was captured - after a massive manhunt.

(Reporting by Karen Brooks in Austin, Texas; Editing by Sandra Maler)