Manhunt continues in Vinton after inmate escapes - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Manhunt continues in Vinton after inmate escapes

UPDATE: Officials from Phelps Correctional are still searching for Jamaul LeBleu, who walked away from a work detail in Vinton on Wednesday.

Patrols are still in the area searching northeast of the racetrack in Vinton.

Officials still believe that he is in the area, but no sightings have been reported since Wednesday.

--

By Lee Peck - bio | email

VINTON, LA (KPLC) - With an escaped inmate on the loose, the town of Vinton is on edge. Authorities say Phelps Correctional inmate Jamaul LeBleu walked off from a work detail at about 1:40 Wednesday afternoon.

"Police, sheriff's - all of them, the ones from the prison they got here it took no time," said Vinton resident Edmond Southern.  

As a precaution the Calcasieu Parish School Board placed Vinton Middle School on lockdown and advised buses not to pick up students from Vinton Elementary, Middle & High School.

"I know they're doing it for the safety of the children. Because you don't know the type of person that escaped. So it's all for the safety, but I know he is going to get caught," said Southern.

LeBleu was spotted by witnesses about a block away from Vinton Middle School.

"He took off running and me and my friend got in my truck and we followed and he came running around right here to this truck and when he seen that I had stopped he got out and ran over to my truck," explained one eyewitness who did not want to go on camera. He describes LeBleu as desperate. "He told he was 19-years-old and he was trying to get to his grandmother's funeral."

Good try, but they weren't fooled. They said the Phelps Correctional Center pants and gray sweat shirt were a dead giveaway. They put a call into police and LeBleu was once again on the run.

After a second sighting in a nearby trailer park authorities have zeroed in on a 2 to 3 mile radius off Big Woods Road bringing in the dogs. As specially trained blood hounds take to the fields and woods just beyond the cow pasture, residents in the area are on guard.

"I have a camper at my house and there was a convict that had gotten loose some years ago and got in someone's camper in our area... So yes, I'm going home to check my camper and lock it up," said Vinton resident Kathy Wilson.  

It's not long that evidence turns up. Agents say LeBleu ditched that sweat shirt. The dogs come back to get a sniff and once again are on his trail. And with the possibility of more rain and much cooler temperatures, chances are Jamaul LeBleu won't enjoy his first night of freedom.

LeBleu was serving four years for simple burglary. He stands 5'5, and weighs approximately 160 pounds. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact authorities.

Copyright 2009 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Calcasieu inmates walk away from work detail, recaptured

    Calcasieu inmates walk away from work detail, recaptured

    Thursday, May 24 2018 9:12 AM EDT2018-05-24 13:12:08 GMT
    (Source: CPSO)(Source: CPSO)
    (Source: CPSO)(Source: CPSO)

    Two Calcasieu Parish inmates face additional charges after walking away from a work detail in South Lake Charles.  31-year-old Whitney Smith and 34-year-old Melinda Hassan were working on a trustee trash crew in the area of Tank Farm and Ling roads Wednesday when they walked away from the detail. CPSO Commander, James McGee says one inmate was located within 15 minutes and the other was taken into custody within an hour. Smith, is behind bars on burglary and theft re...

    More >>

    Two Calcasieu Parish inmates face additional charges after walking away from a work detail in South Lake Charles.  31-year-old Whitney Smith and 34-year-old Melinda Hassan were working on a trustee trash crew in the area of Tank Farm and Ling roads Wednesday when they walked away from the detail. CPSO Commander, James McGee says one inmate was located within 15 minutes and the other was taken into custody within an hour. Smith, is behind bars on burglary and theft re...

    More >>
  • Invest 90L likely poses little to no threat to SWLA

    Invest 90L likely poses little to no threat to SWLA

    Invest 90L likely poses little to no threat to SWLA

    Thursday, May 24 2018 8:54 AM EDT2018-05-24 12:54:16 GMT
    5 day tropical develop chances near 100%5 day tropical develop chances near 100%

    The National Hurricane Center continues to highlight an area in the Gulf of Mexico for potential tropical development over the next five days. This area to watch is currently located near the Yucatan Peninsula and strong wind shear will keep this area at a near 0% chance of development over the next couple of days

    More >>

    The National Hurricane Center continues to highlight an area in the Gulf of Mexico for potential tropical development over the next five days. This area to watch is currently located near the Yucatan Peninsula and strong wind shear will keep this area at a near 0% chance of development over the next couple of days

    More >>
  • Free child passenger safety seat check in Lake Charles

    Free child passenger safety seat check in Lake Charles

    Thursday, May 24 2018 8:34 AM EDT2018-05-24 12:34:01 GMT
    (Source: Pablo)(Source: Pablo)
    (Source: Pablo)(Source: Pablo)
    This Saturday, the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force is hosting a free child passenger safety seat check event in Lake Charles, according to Sgt. James Anderson of Louisiana State Police.  Anyone who transports a young child in a vehicle is encouraged to take advantage of this service. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of deaths in children, many of which can be prevented with proper seat checks, says Anderson.  Anderson says nationally certified child passen...More >>
    This Saturday, the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force is hosting a free child passenger safety seat check event in Lake Charles, according to Sgt. James Anderson of Louisiana State Police.  Anyone who transports a young child in a vehicle is encouraged to take advantage of this service. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of deaths in children, many of which can be prevented with proper seat checks, says Anderson.  Anderson says nationally certified child passen...More >>
Powered by Frankly