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Investigators: King was trying to escape

Prisoner who plunged into alley from LEC has ‘extensive fractures’

September 6, 2012
By PETER KASPARI, , Messenger News

The inmate who fell about 40 feet from the roof of the Webster County Law Enforcement Center Wednesday was trying to escape, according to investigators.

Tanner J. King, 21, of Fort Dodge, was injured when he jumped from the roof of the LEC and landed in the alley between Seventh and Eighth streets.

King was being held in the Webster County jail on charges that included stalking and violation of a no-contact order.

According to Jim Stubbs, Webster County chief deputy, King tried to leap the 22 feet from the roof of the LEC to the roof of the former Messenger Printing building.

The incident is still under investigation, but Stubbs said Thursday it appeared King was making a leap for freedom.

"Our preliminary findings do not indicate a fall or a suicide attempt," Stubbs said. "What we're finding is that it appears to be an escape attempt."

King was in an exercise area located at the top of the four-story jail building and somehow got through a secured door to the roof, Stubbs said.

"For whatever reason, it wasn't secured and that's what we're trying to find out," he said. "That door gives access to the roof, but not just anybody can access it. Inmates are not allowed on the roof at all."

Webster County Sheriff Brian Mickelson said there are no fences on the roof of the LEC, but he said officials are now considering having one installed.

King was taken to Trinity Regional Medical Center before being transported to an undisclosed Des Moines-area hospital. He was last reported as being in a critical care unit, Stubbs said, although his specific condition has not been made public.

Stubbs described King as suffering from "extensive fractures."

King made an initial appearance in Webster County Magistrate Court on Tuesday on four charges: violation of a no-contact order, stalking, first-degree harassment and violation of pre-trial release.

His preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 14 and the no-contact order violation case was continued for 180 days.



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