Kansas prison escapees caught; 2 accused of attempted kidnapping

Three escapees from a Kansas prison were caught in Missouri, two of them after attempting to kidnap the mayor of a small town, authorities said.

The Kansas Department of Corrections reported that Randy Ridens Sr., Allen Hurst and Scott Gilbert were back in custody Friday night, several hours after they walked away from a minimum-security wing of Lansing Correction Facility northwest of Kansas City.

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd told The Associated Press that Hurst, 31, and Gilbert, 49, were in the county jail on $5-million bail and by Saturday were facing a dozen felony charges.

They’re accused of stealing a pickup truck and leading authorities on a chase that crossed the Missouri River into Missouri.

Authorities said Hurst and Gilbert stopped in Edgerton just long enough to point a gun at James Snook Jr., the city’s mayor, who was on a city street watching the pursuit. They demanded that the mayor get in the truck, but he turned and ran, authorities said.

"I don't know what he said, but he obviously declined. ... And he ran," Zahnd said.

Snook, reached at home Saturday, declined to comment.

The chase entered neighboring Clinton County, where the two drove the truck through fields and shot at sheriff’s deputies, The Kansas City Star reported.

The truck reportedly got hung up on a retaining wall. Officials said Hurst and Gilbert broke into a nearby farmhouse — no one was home at the time — and barricaded themselves in before being taken into custody.

Ridens, 57, was captured late Friday in Topeka, Kan. Authorities didn't provide further details about how Ridens was apprehended.

Corrections officials were investigating how the three inmates escaped from the large prison complex, which houses about 2,400 inmates.


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