Report: Inmate wore janitor’s uniform to escape from prison

State News


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An inmate who escaped from a North Carolina prison last week put on a janitor’s uniform and followed another employee out the door, according to a report from a state agency.

Chad Lee Houser, 37, who was in prison awaiting trial on murder charges, escaped from Central Prison last Friday afternoon and fled Raleigh in a stolen pickup truck. He was caught later that night in Cumberland County, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of the state capital, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported.

A Department of Public Safety incident report obtained by The Charlotte Observer said Houser followed a pharmacy specialist into an area for controlled entry and exit. Houser, carrying a bag of trash, motioned for an officer to let him through so he could dispose of it, the report said. The officer asked to see an I.D. card but Houser refused and continued motioning to the officer to open an outer door.

The officer became suspicious and told Houser to step back. Houser initially complied, but when the officer turned her attention to the pharmacy worker trying to leave, Houser ducked below a control station window and went through the port.

While Houser was out of view, the outer door was opened to let the pharmacy leave the prison, according to the report. The report said that was when Houser left the prison.

Houser is charged in the death of his 2-month-old son, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. He is awaiting trial for first-degree murder, child abuse and fleeing to elude arrest, according to court records.

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