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Police, sheriffs search for OCCC escapee

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 06:09 p.m. HST, Jun 16, 2014

A 23-year-old prison inmate crawled through the ceiling in an Oahu Community Correctional Center bathroom and could have climbed through a 16-foot fence to make his early morning escape Monday, a prison official said.

Ted Sakai, director of the Department of Public Safety, said Daniel Skelton was being held in OCCC's medium security facility after being sent there on June 4 in lieu of $20,000 bail.

The prosecutor's office said Skelton, a career criminal since 2010 with numerous convictions for theft, had been scheduled for a contempt of court hearing in December. But when he didn't show up, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

As part of the department's internal affairs investigation, Sakai said prison officials are trying to determine if Skelton either punched a hole in the ceiling of OCCC's medium security annex 1 or took advantage of some work that had been done by workmen above a shower stall.

From there Skelton was able to wiggle his 5-foot-10-inch frame through the opening into a crawl space above the annex and then onto the roof of the one-story wooden building.

Prison officials suspect that the 145-pound inmate then went through a 16-foot chain link fence on the Ewa side of the 16-acre prison facility on Kamehameha Highway adjacent to the old Foremost Diary facility.

Skelton was last seen an hour before the 6 a.m. head count.

The Kalihi facility was placed in lockdown for nearly four hours while prison officials investigated the escape.

Skelton was being held in an open bay wooden building originally intended to house only work furlough inmates, who are allowed to participate in programs outside the prison daily to prepare them for eventually release and parole.

Sakai said the building was orignally designed to house 80 inmates and is located away from the prison, which holds high security inmates in separate concrete modules.

Because of OCCC's overcrowding problems, the wooden annex now holds up to 120 inmates, including higer risk pretrial detainees like Skelton. There were 102 inmates in the medium security facility before Skelton's escape.

The Kalihi prison was designed to house 600 inmates, but now has 1,100 to 1,200 inmates, Sakai said.

Skelton has seven petty misdemeanor theft convictions since 2010.  

Skelton was charged with burglary in 2010. In 2011, his motion for a deferred acceptance of no-contest plea was denied and he was placed on five years of probation.

Since then he has had multiple violations of probation. In 2013, he was accepted into Drug Court and released on his own recognizance to drug treatment.

Sakai is now considering 10 proposals to help alleviate the inmate overcrowding crisis. One would replace OCCC with a larger prison in West Oahu. Two others call for expansion of the Halawa medium-security prison, including combining it with OCCC to take advantage of the efficiencies of consolidation.

Thirteen firms or partnerships, all with correctional experience, responded to the state's request for information, for building new prison facilities that could cost as much as $1 billion.

Police and deputy sherriffs also have been searching for Alan Abihai, 52, who left OCCC June 10 on work furlough and failed to return that night.

Abihai served his minimum term and was released on parole in October 2009. In June 2010, Abihai was returned to custody as a parole violator.  

At his parole hearing in April, the parole board recommended that he participate in the work furlough program before being paroled.

This is the second time that Abihai has escaped. In 2006, he was free for two months after walking away from the Laumaka Work Furlough Center.

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Thief escapes from Kalihi prison

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localguy wrote:
How do you escape from OCC? Oh, wait, the place is guarded by the Keystone Kops. Who ever is directly responsible for this escape must man up and resign. There is no other acceptable answer.
on June 16,2014 | 09:01AM
serious wrote:
Perhaps they all called in sick. It's World Cup time!!
on June 16,2014 | 09:48AM
Skyler wrote:
They're probably all hung over from the NBA finals. go SPURS!
on June 16,2014 | 11:09AM
false wrote:
Yeah with football season coming up visits will be cancelled even more. LOL
on June 16,2014 | 12:27PM
agile wrote:
How do you escape?? Very simple, you or family pays off guards via money or drugs.
on June 16,2014 | 11:10AM
inverse wrote:
Was thinking about that in that it was inside job. Not giving direct help but a OCCC employee giving the guy inside information on exactly the vulnerable spots and instructions on when, where and how to escape. Best solution is to send more Hawaii prisoners to MAINLAND prisons in Arizona. Highly doubt the mainland prison guards are going to help Oahu prisoners get drugs, cell phones and instructions on how to escape.
on June 16,2014 | 07:32PM
HAJAA1 wrote:
Criminal town side
on June 16,2014 | 09:03AM
false wrote:
They some how get to the country. Watch out. This guy is scary just like the other guy. Skeletons for sure.
on June 16,2014 | 10:06AM
jmarie wrote:
Hey hey Kops had nothing to do with this. It's all on the Keystone ACO's! Kops have their own S*it to worry about!
on June 16,2014 | 09:31AM
HanabataDays wrote:
Must've been one of those cat burglars.
on June 16,2014 | 11:33AM
false wrote:
A new prison needs to be built and not in the city. The whole prison system is like a big joke with inmates dying, escapes, cancelled visitation, etc. What a pitiful system.
on June 16,2014 | 12:25PM
Bully wrote:
Five more years when you get caught and you will get caught.
on June 16,2014 | 02:46PM
salsacoquibx wrote:
Dumb part is where are you going to go? lol Unless you have a boat and go to the mainland..your stuck
on June 16,2014 | 03:27PM
HD36 wrote:
Teenager unemployment at the high school level is the highest ever in American history. If more kids worked part time in high school, they would develop some work ethic later in life.
on June 16,2014 | 03:46PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Does the timeline make any sense to you? He is missing from a 6:00 am head count, but was seen in front of the facility at 8:00 am? I wonder what he was doing for two hour? Seems to me if he escaped he would get the heck out of the area and you would think that if he was missing at 6:00 am the staff in and around the prision would be looking for him and he would have been nabbed. My thinking is the guy they saw at 8:00 am wasn't him. You know what would be funny? If the dude tried to pull a Shawshank Redemption kind of escape and is now stuck in a pipe or a ventalation duct and in a few days OCCC staff will be investigating a "foul smell".
on June 16,2014 | 03:56PM
iwanaknow wrote:
over time, he will be caught......................count on it.
on June 16,2014 | 04:51PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
How many times must things go badly at the DPS before Sakai gets fired. It seems like it's just one thing after another with this department.The endless Incompetence in Abercrombie's administration is just staggering.
on June 16,2014 | 07:01PM
localguy wrote:
The man needs to admit he can't do the job, never could, and resign.
on June 16,2014 | 11:31PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Where he stay?
on June 16,2014 | 07:04PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
I don't know.
on June 16,2014 | 07:05PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
That's of me to know and u to find out.
on June 16,2014 | 07:18PM
FLIPTOP2 wrote:
Ted Sakai, director of the Department of Public Safety, has got to go. How many have escaped on his watch not to mention the drugs etc.
on June 16,2014 | 10:09PM
localguy wrote:
Ted Sakai needs to follow Eric Shinseki in accepting responsibility and resign. So why doesn't he? General Shinseki has integrity, leadership by example, selfless service qualities. Ted is just another clueless Nei bureaucrat, legend in his own mind.
on June 16,2014 | 11:33PM
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