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Armed Inmate Flees Prison in State Ambulance

July 31, 1988

LONDON, Ohio (AP) _ An inmate armed with a rifle and a handgun escaped late Saturday in a prison ambulance after briefly taking a guard hostage, touching off a manhunt in three central Ohio counties, authorities said.

Michael Cardine, 36, of Marysville, escaped from the medium-security London Correctional Institute about 15 miles southwest of Columbus at 6:45 p.m., said John McNulty, a dispatcher for the State Highway Patrol in Columbus.

Cardine was armed with a 9mm rifle with 15 rounds of ammunition and a .38- caliber handgun with six rounds of ammunition, McNulty said. How Cardine obtained the weapons and fled in the prison ambulance were not immediately known.

Cardine was serving a 22-to-70-year sentence on kidnapping, armed robbery and drug possession charges, authorities said.

Prison Warden Arnold Jago said Cardine apparently made his way to the front of the facility by tricking guards at several gates inside the prison.

″A couple of employees weren’t doing their jobs,″ Jago said. He declined to elaborate, saying the investigation was continuing and that interviews were still under way with witnesses.

Jago said the officer Cardine took hostage to make his escape was able to get free. Jago would not give further details.

Officers concentrated their search near the Champaign County village of Mechanicsburg after receiving a report that the white van bearing state license tags and prison insignia was spotted there.

The search also involved the counties of Madison, where the prison is located, and Union, where Marysville is located, McNulty said.

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