BROOKSVILLE — With toothpaste and a 2-inch screw, authorities say two inmates at the Hernando County Detention Center tried to escape.
They didn't get far.
Robert Louis Richardson, 29, and Raymond Timothy Dawson, 23, had used the Tap-con screw to saw into a bar window that ran across the window of their cell, deputies say. The two men typically used toothpaste to conceal the cut, but didn't have time to cover their work before a surprise inspection of their cell on Wednesday morning.
Instead, investigators say, Richardson and Dawson only had time to hide the bar behind a wash cloth.
They were both arrested in the facility on charges of attempted escape, a felony.
The inmates' alleged attempt was not the only one in the recent past that utilized toothpaste.
Last year, deputies say, 28-year-old Tomas Ramon Montesino also cut into a bar in his cell and concealed it with tissue paper and toothpaste. He had also made numerous holes around the window and filled them with the sticky substance.
Montesino had also crafted a handcuff key from a bar of soap.
He told investigators that since he believed he would be going to prison for a long time, he began thinking about how to escape immediately after he had arrived at the center. He admitted to cutting the bar and drilling the holes.
Montesino has since pleaded guilty to 98 charges of possession of child pornography and received an 18-year prison term.
Before Wednesday's incident, Richardson was in jail on charges of burglary and had a $13,000 bond. Dawson is in on counts of robbery with a firearm, conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Dawson and 42-year-old Demetrio Crespo of Spring Hill robbed the High Point Beauty Salon on Cortez Boulevard in July, investigators said.
Dawson and Crespo stole $300, a report states. Dawson went into the business wearing a mask and carrying a .38-caliber pistol. After grabbing cash from a register, he fled and the store's video surveillance camera showed him getting into a Ford Explorer driven by Crespo, the report states.
Crespo told authorities that he and Dawson committed the robbery to feed their drug habit, according to the report. He added that they chose the salon at random after driving around for some time.
Information from Times files contributed to this report. John Woodrow Cox can be reached at (352) 848-1432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.