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Jail inmate enjoys few seconds of freedom after alleged planned escape

Crimes and Courts

A Belmont County Jail inmate got a few seconds of freedom, but is now back in custody after what appears to have been an elaborately planned escape.

Sheriff Dave Lucas said 26-year-old Robert McMasters Jr. of Martins Ferry appeared to have fallen and hit his head in the jail, and seemed to be having seizures.

He was rushed to East Ohio Regional Hospital, where he remained unresponsive and apparently unconscious.

But suddenly, that changed.

“He sprung from the gurney, at a full speed, running for the exit of the hospital. Because the guy was very aggressively, actively resisting, but with the help of the hospital and a passer-by, they helped to get the guy restrained and handcuffed,” said Sheriff Lucas.

The sheriff said they have since looked at the earlier jail surveillance video, which shows McMasters deliberately injuring himself, apparently to get a ride to the hospital.

He was originally only charged with two counts of driving under suspension.

Now, McMasters is also facing charges of escape and resisting arrest.

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