Inmate escapes, again

-A A +A
By Becky Barnes

Not for the first time, police are looking for Jeffrey Pratt after an apparent escape while in custody.

About 12:45 p.m. Monday, Pratt, 30, who was expected to enter a plea in Robertson Circuit Court on a charge of theft by unlawful taking over $300 in connection with a Mt. Olivet bank robbery, overpowered a deputy jailer and escaped.

Robertson County Sheriff Randy Insko said Pratt had been in leg shackles and handcuffed during his ride from the Scott County Detention Center. However, when he arrived in front of the courthouse, he knocked Deputy Jailer Marvin Mulligan into the vehicle and took off running.

Witnesses who were outside near the courthouse said they saw Pratt running from the courthouse, but he did not appear to be hindered by leg chains, Insko said.

They could hear those flip flops coming though, Insko said of the prison-issue shoes Pratt was wearing.

Those same witnesses told police that Pratt took off in a teal green 1996 Plymouth Neon.

Police later determined the vehicle was registered to Pratts mother, Violet Infante of Cynthiana, and had been left with keys in the ignition by his sister, Veronica, who was inside the courthouse.

Insko said the vehicle was found Monday night near an auction barn on Brierly Ridge Road.

An individual at the auction barn told police he saw a white Ford Ranger pickup truck with Harrison County license plates parked on the property earlier around noon on Monday, but that it was gone when they located the car. Insko speculated that Pratt attempted to hide the Neon behind the business, but it bottomed out.

On Monday night, Insko said he walked what he believed would have been Pratts escape route through Mt. Olivet and found the escaped inmates prison-issued shirt.

He wouldnt have had his cuffs on if he got his shirt off, Insko said. The shirt was found about 150 to 200 feet away from where he allegedly shoved the deputy.

Insko said he also found Pratts leg shackles under the seat in the jailers van.

Police in Robertson and Harrison counties as well as the Kentucky State Police are continuing their search for Pratt.

Pratt was able to hide from for police nearly two months in 2001 after he jumped 15 to 20 feet from the second story of the Harrison County courthouse while in custody.

On that occasion, Pratt had been shackled as well. He had picked the lock on the restraints and taken off his prison orange jumpsuit. When he jumped from the window, he was wearing only his long-john underwear and a jacket taken from another prisoner who was in the second story holding room.

Pratt, who was dubbed the Reebok Bandit in February of 2000, was arrested two months after his escape in Lexington and was brought back to Harrison County to face escape charges.

In addition to the pending charges in Robertson County, Pratt was to appear in Harrison County Circuit Court on Tuesday on a felony charge of receiving stolen property over $300.

According to Det. Paul Olin of the Harrison County Sheriffs Department, Pratt faces the receiving stolen property charge locally, as well as a second degree burglary charge on a case carried by the Cynthiana Police Department; second degree robbery in connection with a robbery at Farmers National Bank Berry Branch, and as a persistent felony offender charge.

Olin said there are other pending charges that may be taken to the Harrison County grand jury next month.