An escaped inmate, his freedom within his grasp, did something quite peculiar. He found a cell phone and made a call, not to family or friends, but to a 911 dispatcher. Oklahoma prisoner Joshua Silverman passed on his chance for a life on the lam, opting to blow himself and seven other inmates in, reports the Huffington Post on Sept. 26.
How do you tell the 911 dispatcher that police need to come haul your butt back to jail? Like this:
“Uh, yes, ma’am, you’re probably not going to believe this, but I’m a prisoner in a van, and I’m here with a couple of these other cats,” Silverman told the 911 operator Tuesday. “A couple of the guys that were in the van jacked the van at the hospital.”
Silverman’s honesty is only rivaled by the prison guard’s stupidity.
Two guards from the private prison transport company PTS of America had taken another ill inmate to a hospital in Weatherford, about an hour west of Oklahoma City, but a total of eight jailbirds were in the van. Both guards went into the hospital, leaving the van running, with the air conditioning on. Evidently, not all of the men thought it was a good idea to commandeer the van and take off, but when you have convicted criminals handed a one-way ticket to let’s-get-outa-here!, consensus rarely dictates.
Two men took the van to an undisclosed location about a mile away, ditched it, and took off on foot, leaving Silverman and the others in the back, wondering what to do.
“We’re in Oklahoma somewhere. I don’t know because we’re not on a road and I’m not from here,” Silverman told the dispatcher. “I just don’t want to get shot by no cops or nothing… We're all in the van. Two of the dudes took off. The dudes that were doing whatever they were doing took off.”
The two “dudes” were Lester Burns, jailed for non-payment of child support and Michael Coleman, who was being held on an assault case.
Silverman, who was in custody on drug-related charges, assisted Weatherford police in locating the two men, said Weatherford Assistant Police Chief Louis Flowers.
“It helped us locate them a lot quicker,” Flowers said. “We didn’t know what direction they were traveling in and his call helped us.”
One thing is for sure – When they all get back into the big house, better not put Silverman in the same cell with the other two “cats.”