(Updated 3:57 p.m.) A bank robber awaiting trial in Jackson County probably stood on another inmate's shoulders to push his way through metal mesh covering a recreation yard on the top floor of the county jail, then leapt into a tree about 15 feet away.
He scrambled to freedom in darkness and pouring rain around 10 p.m. Monday night, leaving chagrined authorities to launch a continuing search for 42-year-old Bradley William Monical.
“Mistakes were made,” Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters said at a press conference this afternoon. “We are going to locate those mistakes.”
Winters said crews have already cut down trees near the jail and plan to replace the mesh over the open recreation yard with reinforced steel. The recreation yard is surrounded by concrete walls and steel, topped with the thick mesh.
“There's going to be substantial review of policies and procedures,” he said, vowing that there would never be another jailbreak while he was in charge.
Monical was convicted of an April 2011 robbery in Coos Bay and sentenced to 22 years in state prison. He has been lodged at the Jackson County Jail since August 2011, awaiting trial in a 2010 robbery at a PremierWest Bank in Ashland.
Heavy rain thwarted attempts to track Monical with a dog on Monday, Winters said.
Inmates who were in the yard with him have been questioned, the sheriff's department said.
The department has notified seven Western states of the hunt for Monical, posted flyers at local businesses and asked anyone who sees him to call 911 immediately.
Monical was last seen wearing dark green jail clothes, slip-on canvas shoes and glasses. He a white man, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing about 170 pounds. He has brown eyes and short brown hair.
— Staff reports
(7:25 a.m.) A man scheduled to head to court for allegedly robbing an Ashland PremierWest Bank two years ago escaped from the Jackson County Jail Monday night, police said.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Department said Bradley William Monical, 42, fled the jail at around 10 p.m. by escaping through the facility's recreation yard on the top floor.
Monical, convicted of an April 2011 robbery in Coos Bay, was set to be tried as a suspect in the December 2010 robbery in Ashland. He was a state prisoner and had been transported to Jackson County to face his additional charges.
Police and K-9 units are combing the area in search of Monical, police said in a news release. The FBI is also assisting in the case.
Monical is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall and 170 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Officials said he is a danger to the community. Residents should call 911 immediately if they see him.
Monical is suspected of entering the PremierWest Bank at 2235 Ashland St. at 2 p.m. Dec. 16, 2010, wearing a hat, sunglasses and bandana, and brandishing a gun. He allegedly grabbed undisclosed amounts of cash from each teller station before running from the bank.
Monical was arrested four months later after a robbery at a Coos Bay Sterling Savings Bank. He was later convicted of two counts of first-degree robbery, 10 counts of unlawful use of a weapon, aggravated theft, and felon in possession of a firearm, and sentenced to 22 years in state prison.
Court records show Monical was indicted on five counts of second-degree robbery in July 2011, related to the Ashland case. He had pleaded not guilty.
— Ryan Pfeil