Third person arrested for helping Chesterfield inmates escape; Reward offered in search

Third person arrested for helping Chesterfield inmates escape; Reward offered in search
Two escaped residents from Bon Air Correctional Center are at large. (Source: DJJ)

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - A third person has been arrested and charged with helping two Chesterfield inmates escape.

The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) says Jabar A. Taylor, 20, and Rashad E. Williams, 18, escaped from the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center in the early morning hours of Monday, July 13 through a hole that had been cut in a security fence. An investigation says the residents used a cord of undetermined origin to choke the security staff member, who briefly lost consciousness.

Police say Gerald Thornton, 33, of Philadelphia helped them escape; he’s related to Williams. On Tuesday, he was charged with two counts of aiding in the escape. He is currently being held in Pennsylvania, waiting for extradition to Chesterfield County.

Previously, two employees who worked at the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center have been charged with helping two residents escape - Destiny L. Harris, 23, and Darren Briggs, 42.

Destiny L. Harris, 23, (left) and Darren Briggs, 42, (right) have both been charged with helping two men escape from Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center
Destiny L. Harris, 23, (left) and Darren Briggs, 42, (right) have both been charged with helping two men escape from Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center (Source: Chesterfield Jail)

The U.S. Marshals Service’s Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of both inmates.

Police said at this stage in the investigation, it is believed that both the inmates have left Virginia. The pair has known ties to Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York and North Carolina.

“It’s a little scary. We’re all going to lock up more tightly now,” said Martha Mathews, who doesn’t live too far away from the facility, adding that her neighborhood is on high alert.

The older inmate, Taylor, was serving a 50-year sentence for stabbing two men to death in back in 2015. Williams’ malicious wounding and robbery charges are tied to Fredericksburg, where both men were processed before going to Bon Air.

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