March 1, 2018 10:52:05 AM
An Oktibbeha County inmate who tried to escape the county jail has been moved to the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center after what officials believe may have been a second attempt to break out of jail.
Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Office Lt. Brett Watson said Wednesday that a jailer who was conducting a routine check on 45-year-old John B. Arnold late Tuesday night saw that he appeared to be attempting to escape through a vent in his cell.
Watson said Arnold did not have to be subdued, but officials decided to move him after the incident.
"He never got to the vent," he said. "They walked in and it looked to them like he was setting himself up to try getting the vent down. He never got the vent out to try making an attempt. Of course, the vent doesn't go anywhere but he didn't know that."
Arnold was scheduled to have a hearing Wednesday morning in Oktibbeha County Jail for his first unsuccessful attempt to escape from the jail on Tuesday. In that incident, he attacked a jailer in the exercise yard and attempted to force the jailer to let him out of the secure area of the jail.
After the attempt, Arnold was charged with attempted escape and simple assault on a detention officer. Watson said Arnold's hearing was conducted over the phone due to being moved to Lowndes County.
Oktibbeha County Justice Court Judge Marty Haug set Arnold's bond for the two new charges at $10 million each.
The new charges, in addition to an attempted kidnapping charge from Friday bring Arnold's bond to $30 million total. He was being held without bond in the Oktibbeha County Jail after a Feb. 16 attempted kidnapping charge, when he attempted to check a child out of Sudduth Elementary School without parental knowledge or consent.
Arnold was first arrested and booked into the Oktibbeha County Jail on Feb. 16. He was released on $100,000 bond, then arrested again after attempting to contact the victim's family. Haug reinstated his bond on Feb. 21 on several conditions, including that he wear a GPS ankle monitor and not make contact with the victim or victim's family.
Arnold violated both of those terms when, on Feb. 23, he removed his ankle monitor, leading to a two hour manhunt, and attempted to check out a child from Henderson Ward Stewart Elementary School.
Watson said it's unusual for an inmate to try to escape the jail at all -- let alone twice. The jail had already moved Arnold to being housed by himself after the first attempt. However, he said Lowndes County Adult Detention Center is better equipped to handle such inmates longer than the Oktibbeha County Jail.
"We can handle it short term, but in the long term, they're better equipped to handle it," Watson said. "It was a prudent choice on behalf of our jail administrator."
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