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Crazy Days At The Courthouse

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Aug 29 2012 07:18:13 PM CDT
Greenville -

Two recent incidents within 24 hours of each other at the Pitt County Courthouse have the Sheriff's Department reconsidering security.

Sheriff Neil Elks said Antwuan Forbes was a man with a plan.

"He had in his mind he wanted to go to jail so he was going to give us a reason to put him in jail for," Elks said.

On Monday evening after hours, the registered sex offender strolled up to the lobby and started speaking to the communicators working at the courthouse.

"He decided he would expose himself to the employees," Elks said.

Forbes was arrested and charged with indecent exposure.

Normally, this would be the biggest story of the week. However, what happened Tuesday during a child support court hearing may have it beat.

"We had child support in court session Tuesday. We had a lot of cases on the docket," he said.

One of those cases was with Jamie Taft, who owes more than $4,000 dollars in child support. The judge told Taft he had to come up with $700 dollars or head to jail.

"He didn't have the money with him. The judge ordered for him to be taken to the lockup area and they placed the handcuffs on him and started walking. He pretended that he needed to stop and get up with his mom on the telephone and the second he [could] he took advantage of an opportunity to run. He acted like he was going to the bathroom and he shot through the courtroom and took off running," Elks said.

According to deputies, that's when he came running out the courthouse side door, still cuffed, and ran over grabbed a bicycle and took off. Authorities later found the bicycle near Winslows. Taft later turned himself in without the handcuffs.

"I said 'did you damage the handcuffs?' and he said 'no, a Youtube video showed me how to get them off. And I said 'how did that work for you?' and he said 'that was fine. [I] got a bobby pin and got them off,'" Elks said.

Sheriff Elks said child support offenders aren't normally dangerous. However, he's considering changing how they handcuff certain individuals. Elks is also looking into rearranging security cameras as an option.

"I would love to restrain everybody with the leg irons and the handcuffs but when you have 2 or 3 officers working with 70 people taken into custody that's kinda hard to do," he said.

Both men are being held in the Pitt County Detention Center.