Warden: Inmate who jumped out of ambulance on run in Columbiana County

Local News

The jail's warden said William Swagger claimed he hurt his foot during the jump, but then attacked an EMT and escaped from the ambulance he was put in

ELKTON, Ohio (WKBN) – The Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a New Castle area man who the jail’s warden said assaulted an EMT and jumped out of an ambulance.

William Swagger spent the weekend in the Columbiana County Jail after being arrested on traffic charges, including an OVI.

After appearing in court Monday, jail officials said he faked a seizure that afternoon.

Twenty hours later on Tuesday, he was caught on surveillance video, flipping himself over a second-floor railing in his jail pod. He hurt his leg when he landed below.

Deputies then released him from their custody, since he had already made bond on his traffic charges, and sent him to St. E’s for treatment.

As the ambulance was heading up the ramp to Route 11, deputies said Swagger assaulted an EMT and jumped from the moving vehicle, walking up the hill toward the federal prison in nearby Elkton, where he disappeared into the woods.

Now authorities think Swagger may be heading to Pennsylvania. If he’s found, he’ll be in trouble again.

The sheriff said Swagger is wanted on assault and obstruction charges.

He is described as being 5’8″ tall with a husky build and blondish hair. The Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office released a previous booking photo of him.

Swagger was last seen wearing a white t-shirt tied around his waist.

If you see Swagger or know where he might be, call the sheriff’s office at 330-424-7255.

William Swagger, Columbiana County escaped inmate.
Photo courtesy of the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office

Editor’s note: This story corrects a previous report that Swagger jumped out of a window at the jail. He threw himself over a balcony, not out of a window, and later escaped from a moving ambulance, according to the jail’s warden. WKBN regrets the error.

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