Wheelchair-Bound Prisoner Overtakes Guards, Flees on Foot

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A major security breach occurred earlier this week as a Texas prisoner who was being transferred between facilities managed to overtake two armed guards in order to escape.

Arcade Comeaux Jr., 49, had been serving a life sentence for aggravated sexual assault and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. On Monday, he was being transported via van, with two correctional officers, between the Estelle prison in Huntsville and the Stiles prison in Beaumont, according to a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Huntsville. Comeaux was not only shackled, but also confined to a wheelchair. He had previously alleged that he had experienced a stroke, and was paralyzed as a result.

Less than an hour into the trip, Comeaux revealed a pistol and ordered his guards to drive to Baytown, TX. Once there, he handcuffed the guards together and left them in the back of the van after taking one of the men’s uniforms. One gunshot was fired by the prisoner, but no one was injured. He then left his pistol, but took the officers’ weapons—a 12-gauge shotgun and two semiautomatic pistols, and fled on foot.

Authorities now believe that the entire operation—Comeaux’s claim of a stroke and paralysis, and his engineering a transfer which would allegedly place him nearer a hospital for treatment of that paralysis which in turn led to the escape opportunity—was an elaborate con.

The guards failed to pat down the prisoner before the trip began. It is unclear how Comeaux obtained a firearm while inside the prison.

Comeaux has an extensive criminal record, beginning with three 10-year sentences for rape of a child, aggravated rape of a child and burglary with the intent to commit theft. After being released on mandatory supervision four years later, he was then convicted of indecency with a child and sentenced to 20 years in prison. For the next 14 years, he bounced in and out of prison on parole violations, finally being sentenced to life for aggravated sexual assault in 1998. Just one year later, he attacked his own wife during a contact visit, stabbing her 17 times with a homemade knife. He also stabbed a bystander who tried to intervene. These crimes netted him two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and two additional life sentences.

Comeaux is still at large. Over 100 investigators are searching for him, and $16,000 in reward money has been offered for information leading to his arrest.

 

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