Four inmates described as “extremely dangerous” escaped from a county jail in Ohio early Sunday after overpowering two female guards, authorities say. The Gallia County Sheriff‘s Office says Brynn Martin, 40; Christopher M. Clemente, 24; Troy R. McDaniel Jr., 30; and Lawrence R. Lee III, 29, fashioned a shank and forced open a security door at the Gallia County Jail in Gallipolis before stealing the keys to one of the guards’ vehicles, NBC reports. The sheriff‘s office says the men had help from at least one person on the outside, reports NBC. The men drove the guard’s vehicle about a block away, where another vehicle was waiting for them, the sheriff‘s office says. That vehicle was found abandoned in Pennsylvania.
The men have previous convictions including assault, domestic violence, and burglary. Sheriff Matt Champlin says the two corrections officers were not seriously injured during the escape, which happened at around 12:30am. He says the women were overseeing the male prisoners because two male guards had called in sick. The sheriff says Martin, who has an extensive criminal record, had escaped from the jail once before. The sheriff says the 22-bed jail in the basement of the county courthouse employs nine full-time guards, the New York Times reports. He says the jail‘s dormitory-style set up has made it harder to keep the facility secure and it has been difficult to recruit guards, who are paid $11 to $15 an hour. (Read more prison break stories.)