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Dec. 05, 2008

Sheriff's office foils escape try


HORACE LANGFORD JR. / PVTNye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo explains how inmate Joshua Dalke made the twisted metal implements seen in the foreground for a planned escape from the Pahrump jail.

Not the first jail break

Pahrump jail rusting away


On Tuesday morning, it was leaked to a Nye County Sheriff's detention deputy that Joshua Dalke, an inmate waiting for extradition to California, planned to escape from the Pahrump jail.

Dep. Terrill Tinnell was told by an unnamed inmate, "It's going to happen tonight."

As a result, the area where Dalke was housed was evacuated and the inmates placed in lockdown behind the inner jail doors while Sgt. Terry Rising and Tinnell searched the cells.

They found two metal pieces, each approximately 41 inches long, that Dalke had torn from the rusted metal of the jail's flooring.

"Dalke went to a corner near the toilet and ripped the metal baseboard up to make these implements to cause injury and make his escape," explained Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo during a Wednesday press conference. "The longest piece of metal was bent at one end to make a handle.

DeMeo said, "This guy has a violent track record."

Dalke was arrested Nov. 19, along with two accomplices, after a car chase that ended near Terrible's Lakeside RV Park. Dalke is wanted in California for stealing a car, kidnapping its owner and knifing him several times before dumping him on the road. (see the PVT, Nov. 26.)

Two felony charges and a gross misdeameaner and additional bail have been added to Dalke's charges from his previous arrest.

The new charges are attempted escape, conspiracy to commit a crime and damage to jail property with bail of $12,500. Dalke, 31, was previously being held on $25,000 bail.

After the metal weapons were found, Dalke was transferred to the Tonopah Detention Center and placed on 23-hour lockdown, or solitary confinement. One of the inmates with whom he was arrested after the car chase was moved to Beatty with the final member of the crew remaining in Pahrump.

"In Tonopah, Dalke is isolated from other inmates and constantly monitored for 23 hours a day," said DeMeo. "By law, we are required to let him out of his cell for one hour's exposure to sunlight. I interviewed him and he is a very violent individual with a long history of arrests in different parts of the country. We had great concern for the safety of the other inmates as well as our deputies."

The inmates in Dalke's area of the jail, most of whom were being held on lesser charges, have now incurred multiple new charges.

Inmates Armando Mensoza, Jose Gutierrez, Christopher Hutchinson and Daniel McLaughlin are charged with attempt to aid a prisoner with escape, a felony; conspiracy to commit a crime, a felony; conspiracy escape, a felony; and conspiracy injury, a gross misdemeanor.

Bail for each of the alleged co-conspirators has been set at $17,500.

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