The two prisoners had just a little time left to serve: One had six months to go, the other just 30 days.
But instead of finishing out their sentence, convicted felons James Misleveck, 18, and James Newman, 29, slipped away from a Wisconsin facility last week and went on a crime spree that ended with their arrest in South Florida on Wednesday, authorities said.
Police called the pair’s escape a dumb move: Their alleged crimes while on the lam — kidnapping a casino employee at gunpoint, armed robbery and carjacking — will mean a lot more time behind bars.
“They literally had very little time” left in prison, said Seminole Tribal Police Lt. David Carry. “It just seems absolutely ridiculous. They escaped and caused all this havoc to go back to jail now for the rest of their lives probably.”
Misleveck and Newman, both of Wisconsin, were apprehended just past 3:10 a.m. Wednesday in Hollywood by the Seminole tribal and Hollywood police departments, with help from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Carry said.
Both men were being held on a warrant from their Wisconsin escape, as well as Broward charges, including loitering and prowling, Carry said. The pair will face additional, more serious charges when they’re extradited to Wisconsin, officials said.
“They’ll face a host of felony charges,” said Sgt. Pat LaBarbera, with the Jackson County, Wis. Sheriff’s Office. “We will arrest them on armed robbery, kidnapping, theft of two motor vehicle charges in Jackson County, theft from a motor vehicle and felony escape. Monroe County (Wis.) charges are separate.”
On the night of July 17, officials realized the pair had disappeared from a correctional center in Black River Falls, in west-central Wisconsin. Misleveck, convicted of arson and car theft, had 30 days left on his sentence, officials said. Newman, convicted of discharging a firearm into a building or vehicle, had six months left to serve, they said.
Because the men were soon to be freed, they had been relocated to a minimum-security facility, Carry said. The “short-timers” just “walked away,” said Pete Quiran, the Monroe County, Wis. sheriff.
After the escape, they stole a shotgun and ammunition, police said. They also stole a car, but it was low on gas, LaBarbera said. At the Ho-Chunk Casino in Black River Falls, they kidnapped a casino employee as she arrived for work, police said.
“They kidnapped her, stole her car and $500,” LaBarbera said. “Fortunately they let her go.”
Authorities gave chase, but the men eluded them, Quiran said. Early Wednesday, in a parking area at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, the pair were spotted riding in a stolen Chrysler Concorde by security staff, Carry said.
A guard alerted Seminole tribal police, who pursued the Concorde into the city of Hollywood. When the pursuit ended, the fugitives ran, Carry said. Misleveck was arrested right away. Newman was caught when a police dog bit him on the right ankle.