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Troopers nab escapee
FLORESVILLE -- In addition to the burglary charges that sent him to jail in December, 28-year-old Jordan Robert Lewis of San Antonio is facing charges related to his alleged 25-minute escape from the Wilson County Jail here March 3.
Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. said Lewis -- who was part of the jail’s trusty program -- and another trusty were in the company of one of the jail’s cooks shortly after 10 a.m. The three were walking to a dumpster to dispose of some trash, when Lewis managed to escape. Tackitt said this caused officials to lock down the jail for a short time.
The inmate ran across the open field adjacent to the Wilson County Criminal Justice Center. He then ran to the nearby Casa Solana convenience store and Shell gas station on Standish Street, where he got into a parked 2008 Ford Escape and told a female occupant to drive.
Tackitt said the woman reported afterward to Patrolman Eric Hutchinson of the Floresville Police Department that she was unable to put the sport-utility vehicle into gear, which caused a knife-wielding Lewis to order her to exit the vehicle. Witnesses reported that Lewis sped west on Standish Street, headed toward Fourth Street.
Deputy Albert Sanchez of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, who was in the Justice Center at the time, left in pursuit of Lewis, spotting his getaway vehicle headed west on S.H. 97 near F.M. 2505. Sanchez managed to catch up with Lewis, pursuing him across the Atascosa County line. When the two vehicles drove onto I-37, Tackitt said Lewis swerved to avoid a tanker truck and hit a guardrail. Lewis then fled the Ford Escape on foot as the vehicle burst into flames. Two troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol apprehended him at gunpoint.
Lewis, who suffered minor injuries in the crash, was transported to the South Texas Regional Medical Center in Jourdanton. He was treated, released, and transported back to the Wilson County Jail.
Lt. Jesse Evins of the Floresville Police Department said Lewis would be charged with aggravated robbery in connection with the carjacking. Charges related to the escape also are pending, Tackitt said.
Prior to the escape, Tackitt said jail officials reported no trouble with Lewis, which was why he was made a trusty. Not only has this privilege been revoked, but Tackitt said he has reviewed the circumstances surrounding the incident and procedural changes have been made.
“There should have been at least one officer [accompanying the inmates to the dumpster] and that has been changed,” he said. “Either the guards will carry out the trash or there will be guards going with the trustys.”
As for scrapping the trusty program, Tackitt said the county could not afford to be without the program. The county has realized sizable cost savings from utilizing trusty labor for running the jail’s kitchen, performing various maintenance tasks, and more.
In addition to Sanchez and at least four DPS troopers, Tackitt said one Atascosa County deputy and Wilson County deputies Nathan Drzymala and Miguel Cantu and Cpl. Stephen Moore pursued Lewis.
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Section A: General News Archives
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