By Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Montgomery County officials now confirm neighbors, living adjacent to the county prison in Eagleville, were never alerted that a prisoner had escaped Monday afternoon.
The prisoner, identified by county officials as 23-year-old Raehib Hankerson, was first reported missing at 3:05 p.m and was recaptured, without incident, near homes across the street from the prison ground around 5:35 p.m.
Neighbors say their first sign something was wrong came as dozens of armed officers and police cars began flooding neighborhood streets. Most told CBS 3’s Walt Hunter, they only learned about the escape from “word of mouth” and were never officially advised a prisoner was on the loose and what security measures they should take.
Montgomery County officials say no alerts about the escape were posted or texted through the Montgomery County Community Alert System, although county officials say it is the responsibility of local officials to alert residents.
Court records show Hankerson was being held at the prison after violating his parole on a drug dealing conviction for which he had been sentenced to two to five years in state prison. So far, officials haven’t said how the prisoner was able to get out.
County officials, responding to CBS 3 inquiries, say following the escape, which is the first from the prison in 20 years, they are exploring sending out alerts for any future prison incidents.
Neighbors also say they are concerned they were never told, following the apprehension of the escapee, they could resume normal activities on the holiday, so many remained indoors for hours after the manhunt had been secured.
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