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Georgia Fugitive Escapes South Carolina Jail Through Bathroom Vent

Walhalla, SC – A Georgia man, who was arrested in South Carolina on drug trafficking charges and gun charges from his home state, got caught trying to escape jail through bathroom vent on Saturday.

The incident began on June 18 when sheriff’s deputies from the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office served a warrant on a home on Edna Drive near Westminster, WSPA reported.

The sheriff’s department said the homeowner gave deputies consent to search the home.

Deputies found both fugitives hiding during the search of the house, according to WSPA.

Authorities said 26-year-old Cassidy Diane Loper and 31-year-old Lewis Ray Stewart were taken into custody without incident.

But then things got a little more interesting, WSPA reported.

Loper was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center at 12:32 p.m.

The Rabun County Sheriff’s Office, in Georgia, placed a hold on Loper on a warrant for drug trafficking and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, WSPA reported.

Stewart was booked into the same facility on the same charges at about 5:02 p.m.

However, shortly after his arrival, Stewart tried to escape from the jail, WSPA reported.

Oconee jail officials said Stewart used a bathroom vent to escape from the jail, WHNS reported.

Stewart used a vent to get out of the building and managed to get inside a vehicle in the parking lot.

When deputies realized Stewart had gotten out of the bathroom, they quickly set up a perimeter around the jail, WHNS reported.

Deputies found Stewart inside a car in the detention center’s parking lot.

He was removed from the vehicle and taken back into custody without incident, according to authorities.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office said Stewart never actually left the confines of the detention center since he didn’t get out of the parking lot, WHNS reported.

Both Loper and Stewart remained in the Oconee County detention center awaiting extradition to Georgia, WSPA reported.

It wasn’t known if Stewart would face additional charges in South Carolina for his attempted escape from jail.

The warrants for Loper and Stewart were in connection to the discovery of $36,000 in narcotics and multiple firearms, including at least one that had been reported stolen, WDUN reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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