Escaped Texas inmate: Timothy Chappele was caught on video running away after breaking out of a van
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TYLER, Texas — An inmate is back in custody after escaping from a prison van.
Video shows the Texas inmate running away, but his freedom didn’t last long.
Investigators say Timothy Chappele escaped by kicking in the van’s window before breaking into nearby homes.
“When the deputy stopped at the red light, the occupant kicked out the safety portion of the window as well as the window, jumped out the window and ran,” Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said.
Esteban Rodriguez was with a nearby work crew when he saw the inmate run away.
“We were just working, we were getting ready for lunch. We saw the inmate come out and come back in and then everyone swarmed around him. Me and my dad wanted to help but there was nothing to do until they asked us to help,” Rodriguez said.
Before fleeing, he was charged with criminal mischief. Now he faces new charges such as escape and burglary.
“The rest of his time in Smith County will be in a holding cell,” Sheriff Smith said.
And as for the Chappelle van that he escaped from,” Sheriff Smith said, “that was a bad fitment on our van. Supposedly it had been converted into a security van and the bolts had ripped out when he kicked it. We’ll back that up with poles.”
While Chappelle broke into two houses, KLTV said no one was hurt.
Sheriff Smith said he had previously shown no indication of being an inmate to do such a thing.