July 10, 2014

Rowan County sheriff seeks security upgrades after prisoner escape

The sheriff’s office said Sheriff Kevin Auten met Thursday morning with the Facilities Maintenance staff and asked that security concerns be met quickly.

Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten has requested increased security measures at the magistrate’s office in the wake of an escape Wednesday by a prisoner who wiggled out of handcuffs and jumped over a barbed-wire fence.

The sheriff’s office said Auten met Thursday morning with the county’s facilities maintenance staff and asked that security concerns be met quickly. The sheriff’s office said facilities maintenance is contacting contractors who specialize in fencing and other security devices.

In the meantime, the sheriff’s office said it is offering a $1,000 reward for the capture of Jameel Stephens-Maddox, who escaped Wednesday. He was still at large Thursday.

Stephens-Maddox, 21, of Spencer, had been arrested Wednesday morning in Salisbury after he tried escaping from deputies. He was taken to the magistrate’s office in Salisbury, where deputies said they handcuffed him to a metal bar.

While they were processing the suspect, deputies said Stephens-Maddox managed to get both wrists out of the handcuffs. He ran out a door, jumped onto a patrol car and apparently got on the roof of the building and jumped over the security fence.

Sheriff’s deputies and Salisbury police launched a manhunt, but the suspect got away.

Stephens-Maddox had been arrested on several traffic violations and a felony count of fleeing to elude. Deputies said he will face additional charges.

Anyone with information on Stephens-Maddox’s whereabouts is asked to contact detectives at 704-216-8687.

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