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Search For Jail Escapee Keeps Authorities Busy

January 8, 2013, 6:20 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Search For Jail Escapee Keeps Authorities Busy
Charles Beeney

HURON, SD -

The search is over for a man with a long rap sheet who escaped Tuesday from the Beadle County Jail in Huron.  Charles Beeney was found in Sioux Falls Tuesday evening after 18 hours on the run.

Authorities say Beeney walked out of the jail around 12:30 in the morning after threatening to shoot corrections officers if they didn't let him go.

Law enforcement officers haven't seen Beeney since his escape. They're also trying to find a pick-up he might have stolen. Administrators locked down schools throughout Beadle County.

Beadle County Sheriff Doug Solem said Beeney was mopping in the jail, called a correctional officer over and gave him a bullet he'd found. Then Beeney said he had made a gun.

"He threatened our jailer with it, stuck it in his stomach and said that it contained a bullet,” Solem said. “And that if he didn't abide by what he wanted him to do, he would kill him.”

The two correctional officers then opened the doors and let him out.

The sheriff's office responded, sending a phone call warning throughout Beadle County to the public.  Law enforcement worked with school administrators to keep kids safe once school started.

"We've been in contact with police. We're confident that the students are as safe as possible," Huron Superintendent Terry Nebelsick said.

Police monitored bus stops and the district locked down every school. The only way anyone could enter a building was with an ID.

The district relaxed a bit by noon Tuesday.

"The school resource officer and our high school principal determined to allow the students to leave at lunch with the discretion of check with their parents if they weren't sure," Nebelsick said.

That's because there's a good chance Beeney left the area. A Beadle County resident living east of Huron reported a stolen pickup Tuesday morning. If Beeney took it, he could be hours from Beadle County.

So officers are asking anyone to be on guard as they consider Beeney armed and dangerous.

"If you have any suspicions of anything, just call your local law enforcement and they'll get the word back to us," Solem said.

Officers found some of Beeney's clothes near the jail, but haven't found the weapon he claimed to have made so the sheriff can't verify if he had made a working gun.

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