Local News

Authorities Continue Search for Teen Escapee

Posted March 6, 2008

— Chatham County authorities were searching Thursday for a teenager who escaped after being handcuffed during an arrest Thursday morning.

Moncure School, which has students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, was on lockdown as a precaution Thursday morning, but it was lifted later in the day, school officials said. An officer was stationed at the school.

A deputy was taking the suspect, Kabem Smith, into custody when Smith, who was already handcuffed, turned and ran, the sheriff's office said.  Deputies said they don't think Smith is dangerous.

Smith was described as a black male, 16, wearing jeans, a T-shirt and handcuffs.

A search focused near Old U.S. Highway 1 and U.S. 1. A command center was set up at Jordan Lake Minute Market, and K-9 units helped with the search.

This is the second lapse in security in Chatham County in the past month. Last month, five men escaped from the Chatham County Detention Center after overpowering detention officers.

The men grabbed the officer's keys and radio, changed clothes, left through a side door and used a coat to scale a fence topped with razor wire, authorities said.

Four of the men were recaptured within hours. Stewart Wendell Baldwin, 30, of 130 Mann's Chapel Road in Pittsboro, remains at large.

The Chatham County Sheriff's Office conducted an internal review of the incident and determined that procedures in place to prevent such escapes weren't followed. The senior detention officer on duty the night of the jailbreak was fired.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • thepeopleschamp Mar 7, 2008

    dataclerk, I'm sure the family and friends will be tripping over each other to tell Deputies everything they know. You haven't interviewed many criminal's families have you?

    Criminals run from police all the time, that doesn't mean that the officers are "keystone cops". Watch an NFL game. Guys are paid millions of dollars to not let Randy Moss run past them and yet it still happens. Criminals are going to run and some will run faster than the officer.

  • mramorak Mar 7, 2008

    Not dangerous yet!so we wait till he is?Is someone going to let us know when he is dangerous,or do we have to fing that out for ourselfs?

  • ratherbnnc Mar 7, 2008

    Since this kid is so young and probably no money, maybe the sheriff department need to check his family and close friends out. The students at the school he attended would know who the friend are. But check out all family members. Somebody know something, I assure you.

    Gee! Ya think?

  • Hooah Mar 7, 2008

    Did you ever notice whenever there is good press Webster is in the middle of it all smiling and polished and when something bad happens he is never to be seen?

    Quite a diversity of opinions here so I figure I will throw in a few with some facts behind them. Could the reason the sheriffs department is being so mum on this be because the suspect in question is learning disabled?

    Before anyone jumps up with how good a job the sheriffs department does, consider for a moment that they write their own press in their day and day out activities. Anything you read in the paper is polished to make it look its best. They bust meth labs and never catch anyone? Fine police work there. How many arrest do other agencies make and credit get placed on the Sheriffs department? Plenty when you write your own press reports. I even heard the firemen at Pittsboro detained the first inmate that was caught until deputies arrived. Did anyone else hear this or read it in the paper?

  • Valkyrie Mar 6, 2008

    In regards to this post by "Mothergoose", may I say I think you are a very wise person. :-)

    "First of all he wasn't fully in custody, he bolted away from the office as he was being put into the car. Secondly, you shouldn't be so condesending to other posters for making a comment. You need to respect others views as you seem to push yours on everyone. I don't know why you feel so superior on this board but you need to come down off your high horse."

  • mother_goose Mar 6, 2008

    I'm sure that the family and friends have been lying to the police for the last two months while they've been trying to take this kid into custody. They aren't going to cooperate with the law now that he's eluded arrest. Heck they've probably hack sawed the cuffs off by now and have him hidden.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Mar 6, 2008

    Since this kid is so young and probably no money, maybe the sheriff department need to check his family and close friends out. The students at the school he attended would know who the friend are. But check out all family members. Somebody know something, I assure you.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Mar 6, 2008

    dontletmebotheryou: mother-goose:

    I hope the both of you have a wonderful, joyful evening. Enjoy you both. from your comment friend. :)

  • djcnty8 Mar 6, 2008

    I am not talking about calling out the SWAT team. I am simply saying that it is a lot easier to control someone being taking into custody with a second officer present. Less likely hood of something going wrong such as today.

    I think your missing my point here with this. Poor training and poor communication in Chatham County. There is no way a kid should have escaped and been gone this long.

  • dang_skippy Mar 6, 2008

    Whatever happened to "Stop or I'll shoot!" *BLAM*

    That's going to stop anyone from running who wants to live, especially since they are a fugitive to justice.

    You warn them, then pull the trigger. They fail to stop it is their fault that they get to catch the bullet. End of discussion.