Mississippian in new jail on $30M bail after 2 escape tries
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man is in a new jail on $30 million bail after authorities say he tried to escape twice.
Local media report that 45-year-old John Arnold sought to break out Tuesday from the Oktibbeha (awk-TIHB’-ee-hah) County jail after his Friday kidnapping arrest. Authorities say he attacked a guard and tried to escape the jail’s exercise yard on Tuesday afternoon. Then, Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Brett Watson said a jailer who was checking on Arnold saw what appeared to be an attempt to remove his cell’s vent to slither through the ceiling.
“They walked in and looked to them like he was setting himself up to try getting the vent down,” Watson told The Commercial Dispatch. “He never got the vent out to try making an attempt. Of course, the vent doesn’t go anywhere but he didn’t know that.”
Arnold was moved Wednesday to the Lowndes County jail in Columbus, which authorities believe is more secure.
Judge Marty Haug then set bond at $10 million on separate assault and escape charges from the initial escape attempt. Bond for the additional charge of attempted kidnapping was set at $10 million on Monday. Watson told the Starkville Daily News that no charges are now planned for the vent incident.
Arnold was first arrested Feb. 16 on charges of trying to check out a child from school without parental consent. Released on $100,000 bail, he was arrested again after officials said he broke bail conditions by attempting to telephone the child’s stepfather. Re-released on the condition that he wear an ankle monitor, authorities said he removed the monitor on Friday and tried to check out a child from a different school without parental consent. He was arrested again after a brief manhunt.