Inmate Remains on Loose After Escaping Thursday Night

By Lindsay Clein , Eric Redus |

Published 07/11 2014 09:08PM

Updated 07/11 2014 10:08PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. --  More than 24 hours after escaping, an inmate it still on the loose.

Nick Gamblin was in Strafford Police Custody Thursday night-- but while being taken back to the Greene County jail with two other inmates, Gamblin got out of the patrol car near the intersection of Sherman and Division in Springfield.  Police haven't seen him since.

This isn't the first time Nick Gamblin has attempted to escape while in police custody.

As one could imagine, it was a very unnerving evening for residents in the area.

"I saw several-- probably 10-15 cop cars right away and I knew something was going on," says Chad Hutton.  "It's just one of those things that pops up-- you never know what to expect."

Hutton held on tight to his son as he spoke to KOLR10 News.  The head of his household, Hutton says the news of an escaped inmate in his neighborhood came as a shock.

"I told the wife and kids to go inside and I sat outside," he says.  "I'm always curious-- just to see what's going on."

Hutton's street was lined with police cars Thursday night as officers searched for escaped inmate Nick Gamblin.

"We were searching cellars, we were searching outbuildings," says Major Kirk Manlove with the Springfield Police Department.  "Looking in cars, looking underneath cars."

"I saw cops all night-- up and down my road right here," says Hutton.  "Dogs, body armor, the whole nine yards."

Police say Gamblin was handcuffed-- but managed to move the cuffs from behind his back to the front when he escaped.

"He wasn't armed at the time, but we consider him dangerous," says Manlove.  "He's being held on first degree assault, he's being held on first degree robbery."

"That's kind of alarming, you know," says Hutton.  "It's like-- where'd he go?  That was probably the scariest thing-- knowing he escaped with everyone in that area in that quick of time handcuffed and barefoot-- that's pretty wild."

Hutton told KOLR10 News police searched his yard and his neighbors yards Thursday night.  But still, there's been no sign of Nick Gamblin.

"I just hope they find him," says Hutton.

Police say Gamblin is likely not in the area where he escaped and that he is probably no longer in his jail scrubs or handcuffs.  He has a history of trying to escape.  Springfield Police tell KOLR10 News he tried to get away while in one of their patrol cars just a few weeks ago and attempted an escape from the Missouri State Highway Patrol in 2013.

Police say if you see Nick Gamblin, call 911 immediately.  Do not try to detain him.


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