A Daphne, Ala., police officer aims his gun from a Daphne Search & Rescue boat at inmate Jefferson Steven Faggard, right, Monday in Mobile Bay near Spanish Fort, Ala. Faggard escaped from an Ascension Parish Sheriff prison transport car on the Interstate 10 Bayway and jumped into Mobile Bay.
Escapee jumps off bridge
By JOHN McMILLAN
River parishes bureau
GONZALES -- A prisoner en route from Pensacola, Fla., to Louisiana in custody of Ascension Parish sheriff's deputies on Monday picked the lock on his handcuffs, kicked out the rear window of a patrol unit, scrambled out and leaped off the Interstate 10 bridge into Mobile Bay.
Jefferson Steven Faggard, 26, no address available, was pulled out of the thigh-deep water a short time later by the Daphne, Ala., Search & Rescue team, said Col. TonyBacala of the Ascension Sheriff's Office.
After his capture, Faggard -- facing prosecution in connection with the Sept. 15 burglary of a house in Geismar, damage to property, possession of stolen property and possession of firearms by a convicted felon -- was taken to the University of South Alabama Medical Center for observation.
Deputies plan to return Faggard to the Ascension Parish jail today, Bacala said.
Faggard was strip-searched prior to leaving the Escambia CountyDetention Center in Pensacola, Bacala said, but the prisoner apparently concealed a paper clip in his mouth.
He used the wire to pick the lock on one of his handcuffs, Bacala said, and while crossing the I-10 bridge at Mobile, he kicked out the rear window of the sheriff's vehicle, causing the deputies to slow down.
At that point, Faggard, still shackled with leg irons, a cuff on one wrist and a security belt around his waist, scrambled out of the rear window and without hesitation, leaped over the side of the bridge into Mobile Bay, Bacala said.
Officer Ken Eslava of the Daphne search and rescue team said Faggard, who lost his shoes in the bay-bottom mud, didn't put up a struggle when recaptured.
"All he wanted in the boat was a cigarette," Eslava said.
Once he was brought to shore, Faggard began moaning and wailing in apparent pain, the Mobile Register reported. Before he was taken to the medical center, an Ascension deputy told him, "Listen to me. If you do something stupid right now, I will … shoot you," the newspaper reported.
"Put a bullet in my head, I don't care!" Faggard shouted back, the newspaper said.
Faggard, who was on parole until July 1, 2006, had served time for convictions of simple burglary and possession of a sawed-off shotgun, Bacala said.
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