Prisoner tunnels through drywall before rappeling down Talbert House

One prisoner is back in custody.
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office to address prisoner escapes
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 1:50 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CINCINNATI (WXIX) - One of the two prisoners to escape custody on Sunday remains at large.

Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey gave an update Monday to address the escapes of 44-year-old James Johnson and 32-year-old Patrick Thomas.

Johnson was taken back into custody around 12 p.m. Monday, but Thomas remains on the run, the sheriff explained.

Thomas escaped from Talbert House around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Sheriff McGuffey.

The 32-year-old’s escape started in “Shawshank Redemption” style as he tunneled his way through the drywall of the facility, the sheriff explained Monday.

Using a locker and a bed, Thomas managed to conceal the hole in the wall, she said.

Thomas then got into a counselor’s room on the third floor.

From there, the sheriff showed video which she says shows Thomas using a chair to break the window he rappeled out of using bedsheets.

Video from outside Talbert House showed Thomas falling onto the Reading Road sidewalk as he climbed down.

He then ran down the street, but likely injured himself when he fell, Sheriff McGuffey added.

Thomas was being held at Talbert House on a warrant from Kenton County, Kentucky. Based on his prior history, the sheriff’s office says Thomas is considered dangerous.

Thomas is described as 5′6″ and 160 lbs. with the letter “P” tattooed on his forehead.

Police urge anyone with information on Thomas should contact the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office at 513-825-1500 or Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.

Patrick Thomas escaped from Talbert House by breaking a window, and climbing down three stories...
Patrick Thomas escaped from Talbert House by breaking a window, and climbing down three stories with a bed sheet.(Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)

Thomas and Johnson are the most recent prisoners to escape from the custody of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.

In fact, four people have managed to escape custody in the last three weeks.

When asked if the recent escapes could lead to staff changes, Sheriff McGuffey responded:

“We’ve had a lot of officers retiring that are tenured. That makes for a different level of surveillance. We’re training those officers and getting them retrained. I do support the officers. I don’t think anybody violated policy and procedure here. I do think it is a matter of tenure and maturity as an officer in uniform.”

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.

Copyright 2022 WXIX. All rights reserved.