A Smith County Jail inmate is back in custody after briefly escaping from the Central Jail rooftop recreation yard at approximately 10:35 am this morning.
Inmate Adam Bowers, 34, was in custody for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and two charges of Aggravated Robbery. Although the incident is still under investigation, it appears that other inmates on the recreation yard intentionally blocked the view of the yard detention officer while Bowers unraveled the wire on the recreation yard fence and slipped through a hole. The inmate stripped off his jail uniform and ran across the roof and climbed down scaffolding. The scaffolding is there because of the jail construction project.
The recreation yard officer observed Bowers run across the roof and immediately announced the escape via the jail radio system.
Jail staff pursued the inmate, and after a foot chase lasting approximately 20 minutes, recaptured Bowers 4 blocks north of the central jail.
During the foot pursuit, Bowers, armed with a hammer he acquired from the construction site near the jail, attempted to car jack at least three citizens, but was unsuccessful.
Bowers, still armed with the hammer was surrounded by Smith County Jail staff and taken into custody at gunpoint without further incident. There weren’t any significant injuries during the incident.
Bowers was transported back to the jail by Tyler police and will now face additional felony charges related to this incident.
Smith County jail policies relating to facility security are being reviewed to ensure incidents such as this do not occur in the future.