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2 inmates charged in Mo. with attempted kidnapping

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm •  Published: May 11, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two inmates who fled a Kansas prison face several charges in Missouri where they're accused of trying to ambush the officers pursuing them and of attempting to kidnap the mayor of the small town where they were eventually captured after less than a day on the run.

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said Allen M. Hurst and Scott A. Gilbert were in the county jail on $5 million cash bond after being charged with 12 felonies Saturday. Hurst, 31, and Gilbert, 49, are accused of escaping from the minimum-security unit at the Lansing, Kan., Correction Facility on Friday, stealing a pickup truck and leading law enforcement on a 30-minute chase to a community across the Missouri River.

Zahnd said the men briefly stopped the stolen truck during the police chase and pointed a gun at Edgerton Mayor James Snook Jr., who was watching the pursuit from a street in his town, about 30 miles north of Kansas City. One of the men ordered Snook to get in the pickup, but Snook refused and safely fled the area.

"I don't know what he said, but he obviously declined. ... and he ran," Zahnd said of the mayor.

Snook, reached at home Saturday, declined comment.

A third inmate, Randy Ridens, 57, who also escaped with the pair from the northeast Kansas prison located across the Missouri River about 30 miles southwest of Edgerton, was captured late Friday in Topeka, Kan. Authorities didn't provide further details about how Ridens was apprehended.

Jeremy Barclay, spokesman for the Kansas Department of Corrections, said Saturday that Ridens has been returned to the Lansing prison. Additional charges have yet to be filed against him, Barclay said.

Corrections officials are investigating how the three inmates escaped from the large prison complex, which houses about 2,400 inmates. Barclay said the department will interview all three men about the escape.

"Inmates are usually helpful in detailing all of what they did," he said.

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