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For first time ever, an inmate
escapes county jail

Captured immediately after scaling wall

by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

It is the first time an inmate has ever escaped outside the walls of the current Platte County Detention Center, constructed in the late 1990s.

An inmate briefly escaped from the Platte County Detention Center on Saturday afternoon but was quickly captured just outside the center.

The incident occurred just after 3 p.m. Authorities say the man escaped by assaulting staff in the holding cell/booking area, using his head to break out a piece of security glass from its frame behind the booking desk, scurrying into the parking area behind the jail and then scaling the jail wall.

After dropping over the wall--a height of about two stories at the spot where he dropped down to the ground, authorities estimate--the inmate, Kenneth Wilson, age 29, attempted to run but was immediately taken into custody by a deputy that was outside of the detention center.

The deputy was “changing out a patrol car” at the time and just happened to be in the area. Other officers were in the process of responding to the scene when the first deputy was able to have the escapee in custody at gunpoint, said Major Erik Holland.

At the time of the escape Wilson was being held on charges of tampering with a motor vehicle, resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance.

Authorities weren’t clear on how Wilson had scaled the interior portion of the wall.

Major Erik Holland said detention center staff members were not seriously injured during the assault. Wilson was transported to an area hospital after being taken into custody. Wilson was released from the hospital and back at the jail about 48 hours later, authorities told The Landmark.

Holland said Wilson was hospitalized as a precaution. His injuries from the escape were minor, Holland said, including scrapes and minor cuts on his face.

Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen said: “The inmate was immediately taken into custody after he scaled the perimeter wall. Multiple officers and deputies immediately responded to the area in response to this incident.”

The sheriff said his department would like to thank the Platte City Police Department for their assistance in this incident.