An inmate escaped from one of Kankakee County's detention centers early Wednesday after attacking a guard, officials said.
Kamron T. Taylor, who was recently convicted of murder and was awaiting sentencing, got away from the Jerome Combs Detention Center in the guard's brown 2012 Chevy Equinox at about 3 a.m., Deputy Ken McCabe told NBC Chicago.
The description of Taylor offered by authorities was minimal: he stands 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds. Police said he was wearing a correctional officer uniform and is armed and dangerous.
Police found the vehicle allegedly used in Taylor's escape in the 1100 block of South Lincoln at about 8 a.m. Wednesday. Gretchen Jackson, who lives in the block, found the car blocking her driveway and called police to have it removed. When police ran the license plates, they discovered it was the car Taylor had stolen.
Police searched several homes on the block, but they did not find the inmate. Schools in the area have been placed on soft lockdown while Taylor remains at large.
Taylor allegedly escaped from his two-man cell, hid in the jail facility and attacked the guard when he walked by, beating and choking him, Kankakee County Sheriff Tim Bukowski said. He then took the guard's keys and uniform.
The guard, who is a 10-year employee of the jail facility and a military veteran, was transported to St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee. He is currently being treated in the Intensive Care Unit, but no further details on his condition were known.
This is the first inmate escape at the Jerome Combs Detention Center, according to Bukowski. Investigators have not determined how Taylor was able to escape from his cell.
Taylor was convicted for other offenses in the past, including armed robbery and unlawful use of a weapon, Bukowski said. He was also convicted of armed robbery in Tennessee and sentenced to a prison term.
Anyone who sees Taylor should contact 911. He is "armed and dangerous," authorities said. The sheriff's department is offering a $5,000 reward for any information on Taylor.
The Jerome Combs Detention Center, at 3050 South Justice Way, is one of two of Kankakee County's detention facilities.
The Kankakee County Jail has 20 fewer corrections officers than it did just four months ago. The officers were laid off as part of a major cut in staff. Seventeen of the county’s sheriff’s deputies -- nearly half of the force -- were laid off as well because of a $1.5 million deficit.
That left the jail with a total of 110 corrections officers, which is 15 percent less than before the cuts, according to an article in the Kankakee Daily Journal from December. It also meant the closing of the old county jail in downtown Kankakee.