Update: Terrorist Threat Charges Filed Against Arab Jail Escapee
ARAB, Ala. (WHNT) — A Marshall County man who escaped the Arab City Jail and avoided capture for several hours is charged with three counts of making a terrorist threat.
Arab police said 32-year-old Jeremy Lewayne Lang called in bomb threats to Marshall Medical Center North in Arab, Marshall Medical Center South in Boaz, and Cullman Regional Medical Center in Cullman as he escaped from police custody April 21.
Lang is also charged with promoting prison contraband as police believe he smuggled a cell phone into the jail, and used it to make the calls. Cullman Assistant Police Chief Craig Green said investigators matched the phone number to previous calls made by Lang.
He is in custody at the Cullman County Detention Center, held on arson charges. He is accused of burning down a woman’s house earlier this year. Investigators believe he used the bomb threats as a diversion so he could get to a woman’s home to hurt or kill her.
Lang’s bond in Cullman County is $50,000. If he posts bond, he will be transported to the Marshall County Jail, where his bond is set at $1 million.
Arab Police Chief Ed Ralston said Lang escaped from their ail around 8:20 p.m. April 21.
“We were moving prisoners when our bomb threat call came in and just through a chain of events he was able to get out, run off on foot, and I think he was able to hitch a ride and it kind of went from there,” Ralston said. He said the inmate movement was for recreation.
Lang spent just over a week in the jail before his escape. Arab investigators arrested him and another wanted individual in Gulf Shores and booked them into the jail on April 12.
“It is a little unusual for us to go that far but we had two felonies, one for an arson case — Cullman County had it — and another we had through Marshall County,” Ralston said.
“He had made some threats to a family about burning a house, burning a residence, doing bodily harm to somebody, so we thought it best if we get him into our custody and go ahead and run him through the system because he has an extensive prior history.”
Ralston said Lang has a history of escape, and two different law enforcement agencies arrested him for bail jumping at least twice in the past five years. After police learned of the most recent escape, they had a good idea of where he might go.
“With the help of the Marshall County District Attorney’s office, one of their investigators is good friends with [Cullman County] Sheriff Mike Rainey, and they got together and were covering the residence over there where this guy was making threats and they were able to apprehend him at the scene,” Chief Ralston said.
Police said Lang first got some cash and some gasoline at places with which he is familiar, and Ralston said they believe there were people who assisted Lang.
“If we can locate and charge anyone that may have assisted him then we will do that.”
While Lang was in the Arab jail, additional threats appeared on his Facebook page.
On April 13, someone posted: “Well folks my boy jeremy is in jail on a bunch of [expletive] someone [expletive] his life up but thats okay im picking it up now people will know me befor he gets out and he cant get charged with this he dont evean know that im taking matters into my hands for him now people will know me i promise time will show all of u”
The person posted on Lang’s Facebook page again on April 16 and wrote: “Just to let you no [redacted] jeremy is ok still in jail but will be out soon but im watching sunday they was a young boy in and out of your house im going to get u soon [expletive] your time is near [expletive] im going to get u for [expletive] my boys life up with your lies die and go to hell [redacted] i will get u [expletive] for him im comming for u for what u have done to him”
A post April 17 said: “…how it fill to know u [expletive] someone life up for ever that loved u and treated u like a qween till u [expletive] them over and now thier familey is going to make your familey pay for what u have done just to make u pay and suffer they are going to start dropping like flies [expletive] u will pay by suffering from the lost of famielymber dieing and he hasent ask me to do this familey just sticks together by by [expletive]“
Facebook shows a cell phone made the posts, and Ralston said police will investigate.
Lang was in jail at the time of the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, but Ralston said he thinks Lang is probably aware of what happened. He said many of the Arab officers are more tense about bomb threats than usual due to what happened in Boston.
“You see how easy it is for anybody to get the materials to make a bomb. We always have to take them as a credible threat, but even more so now,” Ralston said.
“This one was taken as a credible threat but we had a little bit more inside knowledge than we normally do which was kind of beneficial to us.”