OKEECHOBEE – An inmate from Okeechobee Correctional Institution climbed the radio tower at the prison on Thursday, Jan. 16 at approximately 10 a.m. A passerby noticed the man climbing the tower and said he was waaaay up there!
“You’ve got to come out and see this. Birds are flying around his head and guards are trying to get him to come down. I sure hope you guys come out and cover this,” he said.
According to Kayla McLaughlin, press secretary for the Florida Department of Corrections, the man was outside assigned to an outside work detail and was where he was supposed to be. He was being supervised. Everything seemed normal, and suddenly, he climbed over the fence around the radio tower and climbed up. He got about two-thirds of the way up the tower, but thanks to the quick response of the prison staff, they were able to coax him down pretty quickly. There were no injuries. There were no security risks at any time.
The institution reached out to the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office for support, and they sent their SWAT team, but by the time they arrived, the inmate was already back on the ground.
The reason the man climbed the tower remains a mystery.