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Attempted Escape From Mecklenburg Jail Turns Out To Be An Actual One

John Simmons
Charlotte Observer

A Mecklenburg County jail inmate attempted to escape from jail central two weeks ago.  That's what the sheriff's office said then. But the inmate actually succeeded, albeit, for a very short time before being captured.

Four days later Darryl Young was released from jail. He called WSOC-TV to explain what happened.   

"I didn't think it'd be so easy just to literally walk out," said Young.

On April 23rd, Young said he was in his cell pod's common area on the sixth floor and found an unlocked door, which led to a maintenance closet.

"I found access through a ventilation shaft, which led me to different parts of the back part of the jail," he told WSOC. 

Young said he climbed down ladders, following pipes to the ground floor, where he walked out of an unmarked door close to the jail's main entrance.  He saw a detention officer, made it across the street, before being tackled.

The sheriff's office acknowledged the escape after the interview. In a statement, the sheriff's office called the incident "unfortunate" and said it identified a "flaw in facility design which compromised security." The sheriff's office also said it's taking measures to fortify access to ensure this doesn't happen again.   

Young was charged with a misdemeanor for escaping. He had been in jail for seven months on charges including robbery with a dangerous weapon and second-degree kidnapping. 

Lisa Worf traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE. She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio. Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English.