Two Deschutes County jail inmates briefly escaped Wednesday afternoon by stealing a four-wheeler while on a work crew at the sheriff’s animal rescue ranch off Knott Road.
Shawn Daniel McCallister, 34, of Redmond, and Christopher Galen Turre, 30, of La Pine, were captured after stealing the vehicle at about 11:30 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office.
The inmates escaped for about an hour and reached U.S. Forest Service land near Lava Butte. McCallister, who was driving the four-wheeler, abandoned it at a lava flow, and both inmates took off on foot in the area, said Sgt. William Bailey.
An Oregon State Police aircraft and the Bend Police drone followed the inmates during their escape and helped get them back in custody, Bailey said.
“They were able to get a visual on them,” Bailey said. “They had been following and calling in resources.”
It would have been hard to miss them. Both escapees were wearing orange jail shirts with beige coveralls while driving a green four-wheeler marked with the word “SHERIFF.”
Turre was found and arrested first at about 12:26 p.m. McCallister was found and arrested at about 1:05 p.m. Each inmate could face possible charges of escape, criminal mischief and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
One of the inmates told investigators he drank hand sanitizer containing alcohol and was under its influence during the escape, Bailey said.
Both inmates had been vetted and placed in the jail’s inmate worker program. They were finishing their workday Wednesday morning with two other inmates at the rescue ranch. A sheriff’s office deputy was overseeing the four inmates.
Bailey said it is common for inmates at the rescue ranch to use the four-wheeler to haul feed for the horses and other animals on the property. The deputy that oversees the inmates watches them closely on the gated 23-acre property, but sometimes loses sight of them for a brief moment, Bailey said.
In this case, McCallister and Turre were unsupervised for a moment and rammed the four-wheeler through a closed gate, Bailey said.
“When the deputy turned to look where they were, he didn’t see them,” Bailey said. “The gate was closed. They hit it with the quad and forced it open.”
It’s the first escape at the rescue ranch, which the sheriff’s office has operated since 2009.
Bailey said the sheriff’s office will investigate the incident and decide if it wants to continue hosting inmate work crews at the ranch.
“We will do a full investigation on this to determine how this happened and if there is something we need to do to prevent this in the future,” Bailey said.
McCallister was in jail on charges of reckless endangering, unlawful possession of heroin, first-degree theft, criminal driving while suspended and parole and probation violations.
Turre was in jail on charges of felony driving under the influence of intoxicants and fourth-degree assault.
Both inmates were scheduled for upcoming sentencing hearings and would have been released from jail within 30 days, Bailey said.
— Reporter: 541-617-7820, firstname.lastname@example.org