April 22, 2003 at 2:20 AM CDT - Updated June 20 at 12:45 PM
Deputies Find Escaped Inmate in a Tight Spot By: Kate Scott
(Paducah, KY)--The search for a McCracken County Jail escapee is finally over, nearly four weeks after it started.
Twenty-four year old Troy Allen is back behind bars, after walking away from clean-up detail at the McCracken County Jail back on March 26th.Deputies finally caught up with Allen in a “tight spot,” thanks to a few resourceful women.
Troy Allen’s time on the run started to unravel on Sunday, when a resident of a Paducah apartment complex saw a note drop from her neighbor's second story window. That neighbor just happened to be a former girlfriend of Allen’s.
“The note said that she and her children were being held against their will inside the apartment,” says McCracken County Chief Deputy Terry Long.He and four other deputies responded to the scene, after the woman who found the note called 911.
Long says he knocked on the door in plain clothes, trying not to alarm Allen, who supposedly had a gun. “I just knocked on the door and told them I was a gas man,” he tells Heartland News.“I said that they had a gas leak in the house and I needed to look at it.”
No one opened the front door, but Deputy Long says the frightened woman inside dropped a set of keys out of that same second-story window. That's when the four other deputies moved in and started looking for Troy Allen.They searched the rooms of the apartment with no luck.
Then, thanks to some quiet help from the scared woman, they decided to look in a most untraditional place.About two feet off the floor of the kitchen was a 24-inch square air duct, in appearance much too small for even a small person to squeeze into.But when deputies opened it up, there was Troy Allen, crunched up inside!“Very crunched up,” Long stresses, shaking his head.“Very crunched up! I'm a little guy, and I don't think I could've gotten in there!”
At 5 feet, 8 inches tall, and 163 pounds, Allen isn't exactly small. And now he's in big time trouble! He’s back in the McCracken County Jail, where he had previously been serving time on some minor charges.
Now, in addition to a felony charge of escape, Allen also faces a charge of unlawful possession of a weapon and three kidnapping charges, for allegedly holding the woman and her children for at least two days.
Deputy Long says for all he knows, it could have been even longer than that.“Our deputies had been there one other time to look for him,” he explains, simply because of the woman’s connection to Allen.“I don't know that he was there then. I just know that had I been on that search, I would not have looked in that duct!I can tell you that!”
Long points out that while Troy Allen did have a gun, it was not with him in the air duct where he was hiding.He also credits the four deputies who helped find Allen, for keeping a tight rein on a potentially dangerous situation.