Updated 04/01/15 – 10:40 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Police in Kankakee County continued a manhunt for a convicted killer who escaped from jail early Wednesday.
Taylor escaped from the Jerome Combs Detention Center early Wednesday. The Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office said Taylor overpowered an officer around 3 a.m., and took the officer’s keys and uniform. Police believe Taylor also has the officer’s service weapon, which would have been in his vehicle. As of late Wednesday evening, Taylor is still at large.
Kankakee County Sheriff Timothy Bukowski said Taylor was assigned to a unit where inmates are supposed to be locked down, but he had managed to get out of his cell. Correctional officer Deandre Harrington, a 10-year-veteran correctional officer, likely would have conducted a count of the pod when he came on duty four hours before the escape.
When Harrington was conducting routine rounds at 3 a.m., Taylor attacked him, choking and beating him unconscious.
“It appears that he somehow was able to get out of the cell, and hid himself somewhere within the facility, in the pod, and then when the opportunity arose, he attacked the officer, beat him, choked him,” Bukowski said. “Everyone should have been locked down when [Harrington] came in at the start of his shift, and he also made a check, and then it was shortly before 3 a.m. when he was making some rounds that he was attacked. We still don’t know how it came to be that [Taylor] was not locked in his cell.”
Taylor donned Harrington’s uniform, fled the jail, and stole the officer’s personal vehicle; a brown 2012 Chevy Equinox with Illinois license plate P506660. Officials said it was the first time an inmate has escaped from Combs Detention Center.
Harrington was found in a shower about 20 minutes after Taylor escaped. The officer was in intensive care Wednesday morning at St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee.