Guard in critical condition following beating and escape attempt

EATON RAPIDS, MI – A prison guard is in critical condition today following a savage beating during an escape by five prisoners from a Montcalm County work crew. The prisoners were re-captured in Eaton Rapids yesterday afternoon.

A police helicopter circled the farm fields just north of Eaton Rapids yesterday looking for the last of the inmates. The five men from the Carson City Correction facility stole a prison van after beating their guard with a pitch-fork. A local police officer spotted the stolen van. Following a brief chase the escapees jumped from the van in an Eaton Rapids industrial park.

Four of the men were recaptured almost immediately. Police from several agencies searched for the fifth escapee for about an hour before he was caught.

Russ Marlan is with the Michigan Department of Corrections. "You know, it was a very quick, swift response, a coordinated response," he commented. "We're happy with the outcome of the prisoners being captured. But obviously it's very sad and disturbing what occurred to our officer and our attention turns towards him at this time."

The guard, 55-year-old Sam Olivo is reported to be in critical condition at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.