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Man in LMDC custody pulls down ceiling tiles, electrical wiring during escape attempt

Daniel Johnson, the president of the jail's union, said LMDC staff was able to get the man down without using force.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Leaders at the Louisville jail are praising the quick actions of its staff after an incarcerated man attempted to escape Thursday morning.

According to an arrest citation, Kenneth Hackney was placed in a temporary holding booth at Louisville Metro Department of Corrections just before 8 a.m. While in that location, he attempted to climb out through the ceiling, pulling down tiles and electrical wires, the report says.

Daniel Johnson, FOP Lodge 77 President, said Hackey was "exhibiting signs of mental and emotional instability" but the LMDC staff was able to get him down without using force.

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The fire department was called to inspect the broken electrical wiring, but there was no active fire at the jail.

Johnson said Hackney was evaluated by mental health and medical professionals after the incident. His citation says Hackney is now facing charges of criminal mischief and attempting to escape.

LMDC was experiencing a staffing shortage on the day of Hackney's attempted escape, Johnson said. The new jail director, Chief Jerry Collins, limited movement within the jail and reorganized the current staff to help fill positions. He also called in assistance from a special operations response team, according to the union president.

In addition, Johnson said Collins is looking at implementing a text alert system to call in additional volunteers in the case of a critical incident.

Collins took over as LMDC director on April 4. 

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