CINCINNATI – It was simple: Joshua Kash didn't want to go to jail, so he ran out of the courtroom door, and no deputy was there to stop him.
Once in the fourth-floor hallway of the Hamilton County Courthouse, Kash peeled off his red sweatshirt and dropped it on the floor. He was in street clothes - not a jail uniform - and that made it harder to spot him in the crowd. Then he made his way to the stairs (or elevator - only he knows), down to the first floor, past security and out the door into the street.
The 32-year-old Cincinnati man was still on the loose Friday after hightailing it out of Room 495, Judge Patrick Foley's courtroom, the day before.
And the sheriff's office was left to explain how someone charged with abduction and robbery broke out of the courthouse.
“The Judge ordered Joshua Kash to be remanded to jail, and only after the defendant darted out of the courtroom with a head start toward exiting the courthouse were we notified by courtroom staff," Mike Robison, sheriff's office spokesperson, wrote in an emailed response to WCPO Friday.
"Typically our staff would be requested to be present for such a hearing and he wouldn’t have made it 10 feet, much less out of the building. Once we were contacted by the courtroom staff, deputies took immediate action to get a description of Kash and attempt to locate him.”
By then, though, it was too late.
Kash, arrested last October, had been free because Foley gave him an O.R. (Own Recognizance) bond in December. According to court documents, Kash choked a woman as she sat in her car, then he pushed her into the passenger seat and got behind the wheel. He broke off the door handle so she couldn't escape, and drove her away "against her will." He also took her cell phone.
Kash showed up in court Thursday for a trial setting but then got a surprise, according to an affidavit by the prosecutor, Elizabeth Polston.
"I requested Judge Foley review Kash's bond based on a report … that alleged [he had] contact with the victim," Polston said.
"Judge Foley increased his bond to $50K straight and requested Kash sit in the jury box. Kash ran out of the courtroom through the main door.
"I later saw his red sweatshirt in the courthouse hallway," Polston said.
Foley's bailiff, Robert Bryan, told basically the same story in his affidavit.
"Parties were asking for a new date based on new discovery. Prosecutor asked the judge to revoke O.R. bond … Judge set bond $50,000 straight and was in process of instructing Mr. Kash to wait in jury box when Mr. Kash turned and ran out of the courtroom," Bryan said.
Robison said "99 percent of the time" there would have been a deputy in the courtroom, and that usually deters anyone thinking of running.
“We may only have 2-3 individuals attempt to flee on us each year because they know they’re not going to be successful," Robison said. "This was an extremely unique situation because our deputies did not receive prior notification to be on hand, which typically happens.”
Kash is in more trouble now. He has also been charged with fleeing.
Kash is believed to reside in Westwood. Anyone with any information on Kash’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Fugitive Warrant Unit at (513) 478-6324 or Crime Stoppers at (513) 352-3040.