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Prisoner breaks free in Chicago courthouse

A federal courthouse was in lockdown Thursday and the courtrooms sealed after officials announced a prisoner inside the building had escaped from U.S. marshals.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A federal courthouse was locked down Thursday and the courtrooms sealed after officials announced a man had escaped from U.S. marshals inside the building.

Officers searched floor-by-floor but said they didn’t find Larnell Rogers. They reopened the building around 2 p.m. and said Rogers was still at large.

Rogers, who was accused of lying to an ATF agent and scheduled to appear in court, escaped after learning a warrant had been issued for his arrest, U.S. Marshals spokesman Kim Widup said. Authorities instructed court officials to lock all doors in the Everett M. Dirksen Federal Building after the escape.

Rogers apparently showed up late for a hearing, prompting U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan to issue a bench warrant for his arrest. Rogers fled when he learned the warrant had been issued, Widup said. He described Rogers as nonviolent.

“Once he was in the building, somebody said, ‘Hey they want to see you, you’re wanted now,’ and then he decided to run away within the building,” Widup said. That sparked the lockdown and search.

The 28-story glass-and-steel federal building is on the south side of Chicago’s downtown Loop and has metal detectors and security at its entrances.