TYLER – Freedom was brief for a Smith County Jail inmate. Adam Bowers, 34, of Tyler, escaped from the central jail rooftop recreation yard shortly after 10:30 Saturday morning. Although the incident is still under investigation, it appears that other inmates on the recreation yard intentionally blocked the view of the yard detention officer while Bowers unraveled the wire on the recreation yard fence and slipped through a hole. The inmate stripped off his jail uniform and ran across the roof and climbed down scaffolding that is in place as part of the jail construction project.
A recreation yard officer observed Bowers run across the roof and immediately announced the escape via the newly purchased jail radio system which was acquired primarily for such incidents. Jail staff immediately pursued the inmate and after a foot chase lasting around 20 minutes, recaptured Bowers 4 blocks north of the central jail.
During the foot pursuit, Bowers, armed with a hammer he acquired from the construction site near the jail, attempted to car jack at least three citizens, but was unsuccessful. We are attempting to identify the victims of the attempted car jackings for additional information.
Bowers, still armed with the hammer was surrounded by Smith County Jail staff and taken into custody at gunpoint without further incident. No officers or the inmate sustained any significant injury during this incident. He was transported back to the jail by Tyler PD and will now face additional felony charges related to this incident.
Bowers was arrested in January. He is believed to be one of three persons seen taking merchandise from the Wal-Mart store, located at 105 East Centennial Boulevard in Lindale. Bowers has also been identified as a suspect in the January robbery of the Family Dollar store at 3503 Frankston Highway. He was also wanted for aggravated assault where Bowers allegedly fired shots at an individual off Highway 64 West in Smith County
Smith County jail policies relating to facility security are being reviewed to ensure incidents such as this do not occur in the future.