HARTFORD -- Halloween, the only night of the year a man dressed in bloody prison clothes could walk down the street in Cheshire and not look suspicious.
While on the run, 25-year-old Luis Clarke had the perfect costume, but he couldn’t outrun technology.
“I am serious somebody stole my car. I asked from where? He said right from out front. So I called 911, and they were here in a jiffy, literally within five minutes they were here. And come to find out, they did. He had fresh pizzas in there, and sodas and everything.” Said Kim Liso, owner of Mr. B’s Pizza in Cheshire.
Clarke used a propped-up picnic table to scale a razor-wire fence and escape the Cheshire Correctional Center. He walked a couple of miles through the heart of Cheshire during trick-or-treat time and swiped a Mr. B’s Pizza delivery driver’s car.
Being in Cheshire, Lisa had signed up for the town’s Reverse 911 Notifications.
“And then after the cops were interviewing the driver. That’s when we got the phone call, about, I guess every resident in Cheshire got a phone call about an escaped prisoner.”
But he didn’t steal a car with just pizza in it, the victims cell phone was still in the car as well, and it ultimately led to his capture. The relentless Department of Corrections Fugitive officers quickly captured the suspect near a Stop and Shop in Meriden, bringing relief to the Town of Cheshire.
Cheshire Police Chief Neil Dryfe spoke about the rare escape events.
“Anytime somebody wanders away from the facility, which does not happen very often, but anytime there is an escape, people (the escapee) are generally into the heart of the Cheshire community pretty quickly.”
The residents in Town of Cheshire were made aware of the escape through the towns reverse 911 system, and Chief Dryfe wants everyone in town to sign up.
“In this day and age, I think it’s increasingly important, there is no limit on the number of numbers you can put in, so I would certainly encourage people in this day and age to put their cell phones down. Last night was a perfect example, it was Halloween, there were hundreds of people out trick-or-treating. If you only have your home phone number listed in the code red system, when this notification went out, you didn’t receive it on your cell phone. Although you may have been half a mile from the prison when the escape occurred.”
Two messages went out on Halloween, the first warning of the escape, the second, a notification of a capture.
“So our system is called code red, on the town of Cheshire’s website, is CheshireCT.org and right at the top of the homepage there’s a link to tell you how to sign up it’s very easy.”
If you haven't signed up for alerts, you can do so here.