I-Team: Handwritten note shows inmate’s detailed plan to escape local jail

CLEVELAND- The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained a copy of a handwritten escape plan found in the cell of an inmate at the Cuyahoga County Jail.

Records show deputies found it in the cell of David Lucas. They say he spit on a corrections officer and attacked, and investigators found the escape plot when they searched his cell.

The writing says, “grab a corrections officer or nurse” and “tie them up or take as a hostage.”

The plan also outlines options for getting out of the building: “take stairs” or “switch to elevator” and more.

That alarms the union for corrections officers. Dan Leffler of the Ohio Police Benevolent Association said, "Obviously, that raises more concerns for the guards and the nurses that are working there." He added, "But, obviously, a plan was, sort of, put in place and put on paper. So that makes it, sort of, more severe in our eyes than just talk."

More than a year ago, the I-Team revealed deputies in the Cuyahoga County Jail found an inmate with homemade badges, a sharp blade, and a hollowed-out Bible. Thomas Knuff had already been facing charges for killing two people, and now he is also facing charges for an escape plan.

The I-Team checked the background of the man named in the report for the latest plan to escape those same jail doors.

For David Lucas, we found multiple cases, but no serious felonies. Not clear yet, though, if he will face new charges for the plot to get out of jail.

Inside the Cuyahoga County Jail these days, tension is extremely high. That tension, fallout from a series of inmate deaths and deplorable conditions and critical reviews of jail operations.

The hidden escape plot is one more reason for corrections officers to stay alert 24-7.

Dan Leffler said, "Because they are diligent in what they do, they obviously were diligent in discovering this in the first place."

More stories on the jail, here.

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