By BLANTON MATTHEWS | The Arkadelphian
ARKADELPHIA — An inmate escaped from a community service work crew from Clark County Jail on Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2022. Sheriff Jason Watson described the escape as a matter of “opportunity.” At time of writing, he could not release a name, but he stressed that this was a non-violent offender and there was never any danger to the public, and that the inmate was an Arkadelphia native.
This was no daring bit of drama. The inmates were assisting with groceries and commodities at First United Methodist Church in downtown Arkadelphia, which houses the Clark County Ecumenical Food Pantry that distributes food on the third Tuesday of every month. According to Sheriff Watson, an officer supervising the group at the time said the inmate requested to use the bathroom. He never returned to the group.
The escaped inmate was in hiding for less than a day, approximately 15 hours, before being apprehended again by police. Information regarding the location of the inmate at time of re-apprehension is also not being released yet. Watson said a more extensive press release will be made available Friday.
Non-violent inmates are brought to local food pantries and other work sites for community service every week, often working alongside local volunteers without incident. Escapes from such work sites are rare.