Two murderers escaped from a maximum-security prison in New York over the weekend, and police officers who helped put one of them behind bars are especially alarmed by his escape.
Richard Matt, 48, was serving a sentence of 25 years to life for killing and dismembering his former boss in 1997, according to the Associated Press.
This isn’t the first time Matt has escaped from confinement — he escaped from a jail in Erie County in 1986. Detective Gabriel DiBernardo told The New York Times that “you can never have enough security with him” or “turn your back on him” because of his great efforts to elude police.
“He is the most vicious, evil person I’ve ever come across in 38 years as a police officer,” DiBernardo said. DiBernardo also said Matt was “cunning” and “physically strong.”
The Times reports that this sentiment has been echoed by others who came into contact with Matt.
One retired law-enforcement official pointed out to The Times how vicious he thought Matt was: “A lot of people get killed. Not many killers take the time to dismember the body.”
The security measures authorities put into place when Matt was in court were extraordinary. The Times reports:
A sniper watched over the outside of the courthouse. Double the usual number of deputies were posted inside the courtroom. The defendant was required to wear an electric stun belt.
And the glass that covered the wood counsel tables was removed, out of concern that Mr. Matt could break the glass and used the shards as weapons, according to the retired law enforcement official.
Authorities are investigating exactly how Matt and 34-year-old David Sweat, who was serving a life sentence for killing a sheriff’s deputy, escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, about 20 miles from the Canadian border.
The inmates reportedly used power tools to cut into pipes and shimmy down them before cutting themselves back out, according to the AP.
New York officials are now looking into whether the inmates had inside help in obtaining the power tools and escaping, according to Reuters.
Hundreds of law-enforcement officers are now searching for the escapees.
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