ST. PETERSBURG — Authorities said Patrick Jamal Walton concocted an elaborate plan to escape from a work release facility: He built a makeshift dummy and hid it in his bed.
It might work on TV or in the movies, but it didn't work on Friday. The guards foiled the escape attempt when they caught the 22-year-old convicted felon right outside the building, authorities said.
Walton, whose sentence was set to end next year, was arrested on a felony escape charge. He was being held without bond Friday in a more secure facility: the Pinellas County Jail.
According to court records, Walton was sentenced in 2009 to spend two years in prison for seven counts of dealing in stolen property. The St. Petersburg man just got out of prison the year before after serving about two years for possession of cocaine and attempted burglary of a dwelling.
The alleged escape attempt took place about 3 a.m., according to St. Petersburg police. Walton put his dummy to bed, then snuck out of the St. Petersburg Work Release Center at 4237 Eighth Ave. S, police said.
The guards caught on when the dummy failed to respond to a mandatory roll call, police said. A quick search led corrections officers to find Walton outside the building. They detained him and called police.