CLEARFIELD – Members of the Clearfield County Prison Board and representatives of the law enforcement departments that were part of last night’s successful capture of an escaped county jail inmate provided the media and public an update Wednesday regarding the incident.
Around 1 p.m. yesterday afternoon, authorities say inmate Craig Hauke-Miller completed a prison escape from Clearfield County Jail.
Court documents indicate approximately 30 inmates were in the west recreational yard and many were a direct witness but did not alert jail staff.
At the next inmate count, it was reportedly recognized that the count was off, and there was a missing inmate. This placed the jail into lockdown, and its protocols for emergency situations were implemented.
A search of Hauke-Miller’s cell led to the discovery of an orange envelope containing legal paperwork. Across the front of the envelope, he reportedly left a handwritten message that read: “[expletive] you, I’m out.”
The affidavit notes Hauke-Miller has an “extensive criminal history” including many violent crimes, demonstrated escapes, pursuits and other “high-risk behaviors.”
But “through the collaborative efforts of the Clearfield County Jail, Clearfield County District Attorney’s office, Clearfield Regional Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police Clearfield, Troop-C, as well as Rockview, Troop-G, and Clearfield County 911, this fugitive was apprehended,” Commissioner Mary Tatum read from a prepared statement.
“The communication between departments and agencies led to the successful capture of Hauke-Miller” around 8:28 p.m. Tuesday night at the Royal Inn motel in Clearfield.
This required a “major response of public safety resources including a state police aircraft and other “specialty assets,” according to the affidavit.
After searching the exterior of the motel with negative results, authorities began a “methodical and systematic” door-to-door search.
When they knocked at Room 211, the female who answered the door reportedly stated: “come in and get him.” Hauke-Miller was returned to custody without incident.
Hauke-Miller—who was awaiting trial for robbery—was arraigned Wednesday morning on a felony escape charge. He was denied bail.
The statement noted jail staff have already resolved the security breach, and are completing an internal investigation to help ensure this does not happen again.
Among those assisting with the successful capture were Warden Dave Gallagher along with jail staff; Clearfield Regional Police Department Chief Vincent McGinnis and officers; First Assistant District Attorney Leanne Nedza; PSP Clearfield Troop-C Station Commander Sgt. Thomas Granville; Cpl. Shane Buffone and troopers; PSP Rockview, Troop-G, as well as 911 Director Dave McClure and the “vigilant” 911 dispatchers who fielded calls from the public, Clearfield EMS and the Clearfield County Prison Board.
Throughout this investigation and process, Tatum said they have heard from the public that it would like a more effective notification system in place for situations that involve escaped inmates.
“While the hope is that this will never happen again, the Clearfield County Prison Board will explore options,” she said, and also “ensure enhanced protocols are in place to keep the public notified.”
Gallagher assured his staff have found the “vulnerability” in the facility and measures are being implemented to correct it. “We’ll do everything we need to … we never want to see this happen again.”
Granville and Nedza also commended the incredible teamwork across the numerous agencies involved, adding it’s what led to the successful capture of Hauke-Miller in a matter of hours.