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Two inmates escape from correctional center in Camp Washington

Posted at 1:10 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 14:47:58-04

CINCINNATI — Two inmates escaped the River City Correctional Center in Camp Washington, Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey said in a press release.

According to investigators, 29-year-old Shawn Black and 27-year-old Thomas Cromwell escaped between 12 a.m. and 1 a.m. the morning of July 9.

The inmates were discovered missing around 10:30 a.m. when staff conducted a round and discovered bedding and clothes made in the shape of a person on Cromwell's bed, investigators said. After a headcount, authorities discovered that Black was also missing.

Investigators said the men escaped through a broken window.

The chief of security said staff found a broken window on July 6 and temporarily fixed it with plywood. According to the press release, it is unknown how or who broke the window.

Cromwell was later tracked down at the Baymont Inn in Mason, where detectives attempted to serve warrants for his arrest. When he refused to cooperate, the sheriff's office contacted Mason police and Warren County SWAT.

The hotel was evacuated and Mason police are leading the SWAT situation.

These two men now add to the list of multiple inmates that have escaped police custody in Hamilton County over the past few weeks.

"We want to be clear in stating that River City Correctional Center is not the responsibility of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. It is governed by a Corrections Board supervised by the Court," Sheriff McGuffey said in a press release.

The River City Correctional Center opened in 1998 and houses 214 beds. Admissions are determined by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections; both female and male inmates are housed there, but inmates must be referred to the jail by the sentencing Court of Common Pleas, according to the jail's website.

Officials at the jail said the facility often houses inmates referred by the courts for low security drug treatment or educational diversion.

According to court documents, a warrant was filed for Black's arrest in March after he led police on a pursuit, driving over 115 mph and running at least one red light. Black was driving a stolen 2012 gray Toyota Camry with fictitious plates at the time, court documents say.

Before that, in February, he was arrested for punching a woman and dragging her from her car by her hair before stealing her property, according to court documents.

Cromwell was charged in December 2021 to charges of assault and endangering children; he pleaded guilty to both charges. According to court documents, he slapped a 12-week-old boy in the face and repeatedly spat in the boy's face. Court documents do not make Cromwell's relationship to the child clear, but they do say Cromwell was "the person having control" of the boy.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Shawn Black is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040. If you spot these men and feel unsafe call 911.

WATCH: Surveillance footage of Cromwell and Black's escape

RAW VIDEO: Two inmates escape from correctional center

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