Two ‘dangerous’ inmates escape from Washington state correctional center

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office(YAKIMA, Wash.) — Police are searching for two "dangerous” inmates who escaped from a correctional center in Washington state Tuesday.

Authorities said the men, who escaped from the Yakima County Correctional Center, in Yakima, Washington, "should be considered dangerous.”

The inmates, both from the Spokane, Washington area, had been arrested and booked at the Kootenai County Jail in Idaho, but were transferred to the Washington correctional center because of overcrowding.

A door leading from an inside recreational yard to the outside was found unsecured after the break occurred, officials said.

One of the men, Steven Roche, 31, was being held on burglary and grand theft charges.

The other, Chad Tipton, 31, was being held on assault with a firearm, aggravated battery, unlawful possession of a firearm and resisting arrest.

Police are attempting to notify his victims of the escape, the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office in Coeur d'Alene. Idaho, said.

The inmates were last seen in their jail cells Monday night when officials conducted a headcount. The facility said it was notified of the escape at 4 a.m. Tuesday when officials realized that two inmates were unaccounted for.

The jail found “pry marks” on the outside of the door but it believes a staff member left the door open, according to a statement.

"It is unknown at this time when the door was unsecured, or by whom,” the Yakima County Correctional Center said in the statement Tuesday.

"All indications are the door would have had to be left unsecure by a staff member who had access to facility keys.”

An “internal gate” was also found open after the incident, according to the statement.

The Kootenai County Jail, where the inmates were originally booked, said the men were two of the 37 inmates that it housed in Washington state because of overcrowding.

Kootenai can hold 327 inmates, but the facility said it had a record 439 inmates in custody last month, according to a statement.

About 80 percent of those inmates are being held on felony charges, the statement said.
 
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