‘Dangerous’ convict latest to escape lock-up near downtown Cleveland

CLEVELAND- The FOX 8 I-Team has found a man considered “armed and dangerous” escaped a low-security lock-up near downtown Tuesday night, and this puts a new spotlight on a chronic problem we’ve exposed there affecting your safety.

Investigators say Kristopher Lucas took off from the Community Based Correctional Facility, a place for non-violent criminals to serve time while they get drug treatment, learn job skills, and earn freedom.

But years ago, the I-Team revealed the facility has had repeated problems with inmates breaking out or simply walking away.

So we wondered why a man with a violent past had even been sent there to do time.

Court records show Lucas recently was convicted of aggravated assault, domestic violence, and a drug charge. And, we found he had just been released from prison at the beginning of the year after doing time for aggravated robbery with a gun.

Meantime, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department says the latest escape comes after three other inmates took off in the last two weeks.

Back in 2015, we found 60 people had escaped or simply walked away. Twenty had not been found.

This year, so far, there have been 24 escapes.

Oriana House, a private agency, runs the facility. The agency issued a statement saying, “We are working with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas to address these issues.”

We met a couple of inmates outside, and Romeo Robinson said, ”They tell you it’s for treatment. They’re gonna help you. But every 20 minutes, they’re calling lockdown.”

So how did someone with a violent record end up there? The I-Team reached out to the county  judge who sentenced Kristopher Lucas. As of late Wednesday, we had not heard back.