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Jail escapee recaptured, spurs investigation

BEAUMONT — An incident where an inmate about to be transferred to Louisiana escaped and was later captured on Wednesday is spurring an investigation into procedures at the correctional facility.
At about 10 a.m. Aug. 5, Joseph Thaddeus Chenier, 32, escaped from the Jefferson County Correctional Facility. He was to be transferred to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office when he co-mingled with other inmates being released, according to a press release from Rod Carroll with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
Chenier was missing for about 20 minutes when his disappearance was noticed and deputies began to check businesses in the area and into Beaumont. He was taken into custody without incident at about 11:50 a.m. at an apartment complex on Forest where he was staying with a friend, Carroll said.
“There was definitely a break down in procedures and we are looking into this,” Carroll said referring to a full internal affairs investigation. “We will check procedures to see if they were followed and if not, discipline appropriately. If they find they were following procedures then a review of the procedures will be done.”
Chenier, of Lake Charles, La., a 6-foot 2-inch tall black male weighing 185 pounds was wearing a black shirt and gray pants when he escaped.
He was initially charged with forgery and will now be charged with escape.
“The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all law enforcement agencies that assisted,” Carroll said.
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