- By Jenna Lawson Staff Writer
A Kettering woman is the second woman to escape from the Clark County Jail in just over a month’s time.
Jennifer Tate, 29, of Kettering, was arraigned on felony escape charges in Clark County Municipal Court on Wednesday morning. Judge Mel Kemmer entered a not guilty plea for her and set bond at $25,000.
According to a report from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Tate was able to slip through a perimeter fence to freedom while she and other inmates at the jail were in a recreation period around 7 p.m. Tuesday. Tate was being housed in a Modular Housing Unit underneath the Public Safety Building.
Lt. Kristopher Shultz, Criminal Investigations Commander with the sheriff’s office, said the area is secure and under constant surveillance, and the sheriff’s office is looking into whether a camera glitch may have allowed Tate to go near the fence unnoticed.
“Her movement through the area where the inmates were engaged in recreation was not picked up by the camera,” he said.
Shultz said the fence is chain-linked and topped with barbed wire, and Tate suffered serious injuries as a result of the escape.
The sheriff’s office said they believe Tate travelled a few blocks north after getting through the fence, where she eventually jumped into Buck Creek before exiting the creek near the Springfield Museum of Art on North Fountain Avenue.
Deputies spotted her in the parking lot of the museum. She tried to run again as they approached, but her injuries prevented her from eluding capture. Body camera footage from the incident shows Tate’s ripped clothes and bloodied body. She was captured 26 minutes after her escape.
She was treated by Springfield Fire Rescue Division personnel and then taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center. She confessed to detectives there, citing family issues as the reason for her escape, according to the sheriff’s office.
Tate was in jail on charges of theft and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
In court on Wednesday, Tate asked the judge for access to mental treatment.
At the beginning of August, a New Carlisle woman climbed over a fence to escape from the jail before stealing a car from the Springfield Museum of Art.
Alisha Salyer was eventually apprehended at her home — but the back-to-back nature of the escapes is causing the sheriff’s office to look closely at the security and monitoring of inmates.
“We’re working with the physical plant of the building that we have. The building (was) built in 1980, so we’re looking at means to further add security to that area and increase the protective nature of our perimeter,” Shultz said. “We don’t want to incur an enormous expense to the taxpayer but we have the responsibility that we have to keep these people incarcerated here and protect them from the outside world and protect the outside world from them.”
The sheriff’s office investigation into the latest escape is still ongoing. Shultz thanked all of the deputies and officers from the Springfield Police Division who assisted in Tate’s capture.