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Romulus, NY - Captured Escapee Dishes Dirt On Lax Security And Painstaking Details That Led To Hollywood-Style Breakout In Upstate NY

Published on: July 21, 2015 12:24 PM
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FILE - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo inspects an opening in the pipe, where two inmates are suspected to have cut open as part of their escape from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York in this New York Governor's Press Office handout photo taken June 6, 2015 and released on June 7, 2015.. REUTERSFILE - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo inspects an opening in the pipe, where two inmates are suspected to have cut open as part of their escape from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York in this New York Governor's Press Office handout photo taken June 6, 2015 and released on June 7, 2015.. REUTERS

Romulus, NY - While recuperating from non-life threatening gunshot wounds suffered in his recapture, now infamous Clinton Correctional Facility escapee David Sweat has been regaling investigators with the intricate details of lax security, diligent preparation, and plain old luck that led to the successful Hollywood-style escape of he and a fellow inmate on June 6.

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David Sweat, 35, and Richard Matt, 49, escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y., on June 6 after they cut through their cell walls, carved a hole in a steam pipe and made their way to a manhole cover outside the grounds.

After an extensive manhunt, Matt was shot and killed by a federal agent on June 26 about 27 miles (43 km) away from the prison. Sweat was shot and apprehended two days later.

The men’s escape from the maximum security prison, the likes of which are extremely rare in the United States, has prompted an investigation by the state’s inspector general, who has the authority to seize documents and question witnesses.

NYTIMES.com (http://nyti.ms/1MFrKAG ) reports that, according to a source close to the briefings, Sweat is portraying himself as the MacGyver-like mastermind of the plan, telling investigators how for months he freely roamed the catacombs of the prison late at night, exiting his cell through a hole sawed with makeshift tools.

He spent months getting to know the interior system of passages and pipes until he found some that led to the other side of the prison walls, the Times reported.

After months of trial and error, and many dead ends, Sweat has informed investigators that he ultimately began the painstaking process of chipping his way through a solid concrete wall to gain access to a manhole located outside the prison walls using a crude sledgehammer he fashioned from pilfered prison tools.

However, Sweat says luck was on his side when, in May, the prison shut down its heating system, allowing the two inmates to crawl to freedom through a 24-inch steam pipe.

In true Hollywood fashion, Sweat told investigators he and his now deceased fellow escapee, Richard W. Matt, often joked about how they would cut 10 years off the time it took for lead character in “The Shawshank Redemption” to escape.

Two Clinton prison workers are charged with helping in the escape. Since the escape, the prison has instituted a number of new security procedures.


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