Moore Charged in Failed Attempt to Escape from CCJ

CLEARFIELD – An inmate is facing felony and misdemeanor charges after his failed attempt to escape from the Clearfield County Jail earlier this week.

Lawrence Township police were called for a “psychological emergency” at 9:10 p.m. Monday when 42-year-old inmate, John F. Moore, was armed with a shank, according to the affidavit.

The dispatcher told police that corrections officers had Moore locked in the garage, he had self-inflicted injuries and he was still attempting to flee from the facility.

Upon arrival, Officer Jonathan C. Walker was advised that guards had been placed outside the rear door to attempt to stop Moore from escaping. He ordered for them to load their weapons with “less than lethal” ammunition and to standby.

In the booking area, COs reported that Moore had a shank, and when Walker looked into the garage, he reportedly observed “massive amounts of blood” on the floor, walls and rear door.

The control operator opened the door; however, the officer pulled it shut because Moore couldn’t be seen. When Walker went into the booking center, he observed Moore below the window.

He radioed a Clearfield Borough officer saying that Moore was attempting to conceal himself and waiting for them, so another door would have to be used to make entry.

Walker attempted numerous times to talk with Moore through a small glass window in the booking center; however, he ignored the officer and attempted to conceal himself further out of sight.

Officers were led by COs into the central processing area, entered that door and Walker ordered Moore to the ground. He reportedly refused and commented that he wanted them to kill him.

He was ordered numerous times to take his hand out from behind himself, which he didn’t comply with at first, but later he told the officers he wasn’t armed and showed his hands.

Because Moore continued to resist, the officer closed in with his taser. Moore then said he wanted Walker to shoot him, and that he (Walker) would have to come get him.

The officer proceeded to deploy his taser, which incapacitated Moore, and he was taken into custody by police and corrections staff.

Moore was still bleeding profusely from his right arm and transported to Clearfield Penn Highlands Hospital and later to Altoona Regional Medical Center due to his injuries, according to the affidavit.

Upon further investigation, it was found Moore had planned his escape attempt and discussed it with other inmates. A deputy warden retrieved video surveillance and turned it over to police.

At 6:15 p.m. Monday, the video showed Moore in the hallway, removing a piece of metal from a storage desk, and it was later used in commission of the crime, police said.

Moore was also reportedly assisted by another inmate who removed a second piece of metal from the desk and gave it to him.

At 9:05 p.m., the video showed Moore leaving church services, “hugging the walls” to remain undetected and eventually entering the shower room. Once inside, he looked out periodically to check for COs coming down the hallway.

He then crossed the hallway into “property x” room where he continued to open the door, and this was observed by the control room operator who alerted a CO.

In a written statement, the CO said when he entered the room, he saw a pair of blue jeans on the floor. When he checked around the door, he made eye contact with Moore.

He said Moore held what appeared to be a “box cutter” up to his (CO) neck, commenting: “You’re going to let me the [expletive] out of this building … I’m not [expletive] around.”

Moore exited the room with the shank allegedly raised to the CO and backed him into the booking room where a second CO was located at. Moore exited but came back and held the shank up to the two COs again.

At this point, Moore demanded that the garage door be “hit.” The CO put in the call, and after Moore went into the garage area, the door was locked.

When he found the garage’s exit was locked, Moore picked up a sawhorse and smashed the door. He also punched out the safety glass window, which police believe caused a deep cut in his arm.

He yelled for COs to open the exterior door, opened all the gun lockers in an unsuccessful search for a weapon and attempted to kill himself multiple times, police said.

Moore also attempted to climb into air vents and the ceiling to escape but was unable to keep his grip.  At this point, he hid in the corner to wait for police to make entry, according to the affidavit.

After he was detained by police, Moore stated they should have just shot him because he’s a heroin addict and wants to die.

He allegedly admitted he attempted to get a CO alone in the booking room, so he could escape, that another inmate gave him one shank and others knew of his plan.

Moore has been charged by Walker with two counts of aggravated assault, nine counts of aggravated harassment by prisoner, one count of criminal attempt-escape and two counts of terroristic threats, all felonies.

He’s also been charged with two counts each of inmate procure, etc. self with weapon and recklessly endangering another person and one count of resisting arrest, all misdemeanors, and one summary.

Moore’s bail has been set at $100,000 monetary, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Aug. 7 during centralized court at the jail.

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