WAILUA — Kaua’i Community Correctional Facility Warden Neal Wagatsuma and
his staff are still marveling over how inmate Vincent Hilario escaped from
the jail Wednesday morning.
Hilario, 32, scaled a 24-foot high fine-mesh
fence, fled the prison grounds undetected, but was recaptured in a pasture 40
minutes after his escape.
“It was amazing what he did, ” Wagatsuma said.
“It was superhuman kind.”
While in the recreation yard at 7:40 a.m.,
Hilario, a martial arts practitioner, contorted his hands to climb up the post
of a fine-mesh fence, cleared the top of it, scampered away from the prison
grounds and headed toward Kapa’a.
Corrections officers got whiff of the
escape, Wagatsuma said, and, assisted by the Kaua’i police, closed off the jail
to prevent more escapes.
Law enforcement officers with the state
Department of Land and Natural Resources also were ready to use tracking dogs
to find Hilario.
But Jon Miyajima, a corrections supervisor, spotted
Hilario lying face down in the field by the jail, and Corrections Lt. Lewis
Lindsey apprehended the escapee without any resistance, Wagatsuma
Hilario was charged by police with escape in the first degree. A
trial is pending, according to Wagatsuma.
Hilario has been serving a
five-year prison sentence for violation of a probation condition on an
Hilario’s escape was the first from the main building
at the jail since 1991.
To prevent further escapes of that kind, razor wire
has been installed at the top of the fence which Hilario scaled with ease,
“It should work,” he said. ” A normal person would never
have been able to do what he did.”