Huron escapee broke out of ND jail 7 years agoCharles Beeney, 45, is considered armed and dangerous. Huron residents notified by phone, schools on lockdown.
By: Blake Nicholson, The Associated Press
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Kansas man who broke out of a county jail in North Dakota about seven years ago and later made an unsuccessful attempt to escape from the State Penitentiary was on the loose Tuesday after escaping from a jail in Huron.
Charles Beeney, 45, was considered armed and dangerous. Beadle County Sheriff Doug Solem said Huron-area residents were notified by a reverse-911 telephone system and urged to lock their doors. The Huron School District put its buildings on lockdown status as a precaution, Superintendent Terry Nebelsick said. Police officers also patrolled bus stops and student transfer areas early Tuesday, he said.
Huron is in eastern South Dakota, about 130 miles northwest of Sioux Falls.
Beeney was outside of his cell on cleaning detail in the jail about 12:30 a.m. when he accosted a guard with a makeshift gun, Solem said. Guards did not get a good look at the hand-made weapon but evidence found later in Beeney's cell indicated it might have been made from materials such as a metal tube and rubber bands, he said.
"This guy, he had been in prison for 20 years. He's real resourceful," Solem said. "If the thing actually worked, who knows? But it was enough to make our guard believe it would work."
Solem said Beeney produced a .45-caliber bullet, handed it to the guard and then told the guard he had another bullet in the makeshift gun and would kill him if the guard did not let him go.
Another guard eventually confronted Beeney, who had his weapon held to the first guard's stomach, Solem said.
"It's kind of like a bank robbery — when somebody has a gun pointed at you, you do what you've got to do," the sheriff said. "The guard released him."
Beeney had been in the jail since Dec. 3, when he was arrested following a chase with law enforcement officers from five counties and the South Dakota Highway Patrol. The chase ended when Beeney crashed the pickup truck he had stolen from a dealership in Bismarck, N.D., in a field west of the South Dakota town of Alpena.
"We'd had no problems with him whatsoever" since the arrest, Solem said.
Beeney also was involved in a chase with law enforcement officers in North Dakota in December 2005. He was caught and booked into the Richland County Jail but escaped later that month by using an iron post he apparently had wrenched from a piece of furniture to overwhelm a jailer. He stole a pickup from a farm and went on the lam for about 16 hours before he was caught.
In January 2006, he was sentenced to five years in the State Penitentiary in Bismarck, where he made an unsuccessful escape attempt in June 2010 — less than two months before his scheduled release.
Beeney faced only prison discipline for the attempted escape and was released on schedule because he was wanted in Kansas for violating parole on felony convictions including aggravated robbery, said Tim Tausend, a spokesman for the North Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Kansas Department of Corrections records show that Beeney returned to Kansas and served about eight months in a state prison in Lansing before he was paroled again in April 2011. He absconded from parole last November and turned up in Bismarck a month later.
Beeney is described as a white man who is 5-feet, 11-inches tall and about 160 pounds. At the time of his escape he had shoulder-length brown hair, a goatee and tattoos on his arms. He was wearing blue jeans and a black coat.