Authorities Describe William Rawson’s Escape from McLean County Jail

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 Rawson was discovered to be missing Sunday morning from the Washburn jail. 
 He eluded law enforcement over a span of two days.
 Ben Smith tells us how he did it.
 
 
Correctional Officers last checked Rawson’s cell at a quarter to 1 Sunday morning.  It appeared he was there.
 
“He had made kind of like a dummy with other uniforms and blankets that were in there, …So when they did the cell searches, it looked like he was there,” says Wade Krohmer, McClean County Jail Administrator.
 
Krohmer says there have been several attempted escapes in recent months.  Where others failed, Rawson was just the right size.
 
“He then went into the bathroom, and got that area pulled down.  Went up into the next level and like I said, he squeezed through the tin, and got up and that gave him access to the actual rafters.  He tore off a two-by-four off the rafters and  banged his way out through a hole in the roof,”  he says 
 
Once Rawson smelled fresh air, he jumped off this roof, leaving his jail clothes behind.  And then he proceeded to find the closest car he could steal, and then he headed south.
 
“We have him running from here on the camera at 3:25, the business he stole the car from, their video shows 3:29 coming in there, at 3:32 he was driving out,”
 
28 hours later, and 50 miles away.
Rawson is holed up in a Mandan house, what follows is a 5 hour standoff.
 
“Some end quickly.  Once we start talking to them, they decide to come out.  There’s other cases where they’re not gonna come up out and we have to do different things to try to get them to come out on their own,” says Lt. Patrick Haug with the Mandan PD
 
Authorities used multiple flash grenades and bomb squad robots to get Rawson to come out.
Which eventually he did.
 
“I haven’t had anybody run out of a house that they were barricaded in and climb up a tree, that’s a first for me so,”
 
Haug says they ended up not using the fire truck ladder that was called on scene, as Rawson eventually came down on his own.
Through the whole ordeal, no one was hurt.
But the McClean County jail will be making some changes.
 
“We’re doing some better training on cell searches…Make sure that is done more physical, make sure they visually see them,” says Krohmer
 
It’s the only escape in the jail’s history, and the only one Krohmers seen in almost thirty years in law enforcement.
 
Krohmer says there was a portion of the McClean Correction Center that wasn’t properly welded which enabled Rawson’s escape.
He says new steel reinforcements are in the works and will prevent any future escapes.

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