Two Justice Center escapees captured

9:50 AM, Apr 23, 2011   |    comments
  • Vernon Collins and David White
  • Vernon Collins caught early Friday afternoon.
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St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - St. Louis police are releasing more information on the capture of Vernon Collins, one of two men who escaped early Friday morning from the Justice Center in Downtown St. Louis.

Police say Collins was on his way to a residence in Jennings. Officers went to the location, and witnessed him entering the house. As officers attempted to arrest Collins, they say he ran through the house and jumped out a plate glass window.

After being treated at a local hospital, Collins was taken into custody.

NewsChannel 5 confirms 33-year-old David White was apprehended in North St. Louis Friday afternoon, less than 12 hours after he and 34-year-old Vernon Lamont Collins escaped from the facility at 200 S. Tucker around 6:55 a.m.

Collins was caught in Jennings around midnight.

According to police spokeswoman Schron Jackson, an officer took White into custody at a gas station at the intersection of N. Broadway and Grand.

Gene Stubblefield, who works for the justice center, said the men were in the infirmary.  Both men removed their yellow corrections jumpsuits prior to escaping.  He said they pushed the bunk bed they were assigned to sleep in and put it against the wall. They climbed into the ceiling and were able to gain access to a window. They smashed the window, tied bed sheets together into a rope and used that to get down the wall.

Jackson said White was in the infirmary at the Justice Center due to a broken leg and it appears that he broke his other leg during Friday morning's escape.  White is being transported to an area hospital for treatment.

White was previously charged with burglary, domestic assault, unlawful use of a weapon, endangering the welfare of a child and property damage. 

Collins had previously been charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, armed criminal action, assault, resisting arrest and disarming a correctional officer.

Police said Collins was suspected of shooting a St. Louis police officer when they got into a struggle over the officer's gun earlier this year following a stabbing investigation in the 5200 block of St. Louis Avenue. The officer was critically injured in the shooting.

See previous story: Two city jail inmates escape St. Louis City Justice Center


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