Another Escape Attempt Causes Security Concerns at Lubbock County Courthouse - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/30/06

Another Escape Attempt Causes Security Concerns at Lubbock County Courthouse

A man's attempted escape from the Lubbock County Courthouse is raising new questions about security.  26-year-old LeCharles Curtis was in court on Tuesday for firearms and domestic violence charges. Now, he's facing an evading arrest charge too.  NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel explains what happened.  

LeCharles went out of the West side of the courthouse, where witnesses believe Curtis ran out and got into a getaway vehicle. That car then drove down Broadway going West, until Avenue S, where Sheriff's deputies were waiting.  LeCharles tried to run, but deputies stopped him with their tasers.

"You don't expect them to break like that."  The second escape in two weeks. Both men ran from the courthouse to try and avoid going to jail. The first incident happened May 12th.

James Lawrence was supposed to be in court to surrender for a felony car theft warrant. But when the handcuffs were being put on, he took off. Officers chased him 20 minutes before making the arrest.

Early Tuesday, LeCharles Curtis followed suit. After learning he was going to jail, he ran through out the courthouse, got into a car, and had to be stopped by a taser nearly one mile away. 

LSO Chief Deputy Paul Scarborough says, "We are one of the last courthouses this size without controlled access. That's one thing we're looking to change."

Lubbock Sheriff's and the County Court are trying to find an answer to the security issue downtown.  "We know what we want to do, but it may not be the most cost efficient way to do it."  For the second year, LSO has asked the County Commissioners for increased security in their budget proposal.  "The object is to look at what we're doing from that standpoint and ask how we can prevent these things, whether it's personnel, whether it's procedure and how we control that type of situation in the courtroom."

But the problem is money. "It's not going to be cheap."

One idea could be metal detectors, but the ultimate plan suggests that the county hires a consultant to look over the courthouse and see what security plan would work for our budget.

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