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Habitual kidnapping suspect attempts jail escape


John B. Arnold Jr.

John B. Arnold Jr.



Alex Holloway



A man who faces two attempted kidnapping counts is now looking at more charges after an unsuccessful attempt to escape from the Oktibbeha County Jail on Tuesday. 


Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Office Lt. Brett Watson said 45-year-old John B. Arnold Jr. attempted to escape from the jail at about 3 p.m. Tuesday while out in the exercise yard. Watson said Arnold attacked a jailer from behind and attempted to force the jailer to let him out of the secure area of the jail. 


Watson said the jailer fought off Arnold and subdued him. Arnold is now being housed alone in the jail for the time being. 


After the attempt, Arnold was charged with attempted escape and simple assault on a detention officer -- both of which are felony charges. Watson said Arnold will have a bond hearing on the new charges today. 


"For security purposes that will be done in the confines of the jail," he said. "Given his recent escape attempt, we think that's the wisest course of action." 


Watson said the jail administrator will evaluate whether Arnold will continue to get time in the exercise yard after his attempt. He said the jail hasn't yet made a decision on any in-house consequences for the escape attempt. 


Arnold is being held in the jail after twice violating the terms of his bond from a Feb. 16 attempted kidnapping charge. On that day, he attempted to check a student out from Sudduth Elementary School without the consent of the child's parents. 


Justice Court Judge Marty Haug reinstated Arnold's bond on Feb. 21 on several conditions, two being that he wear a GPS ankle monitor and not make contact with the victim or any of the victim's family members. Arnold violated both those terms on Feb. 23, when he removed his ankle monitor -- leading local law enforcement on a two-hour manhunt -- and attempted to check out a child from Henderson Ward Stewart Elementary School. 


Arnold has been charged with two counts of contempt of court, each with $1,000 bond. His attempted kidnapping charge from Friday has a $10 million bond. His bond for the original attempted kidnapping charge has been revoked.




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