UPDATE: Escaped inmate says Boyd Co. jail needs ‘shut down’ after 6th escape

Published: Nov. 23, 2017 at 9:13 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
UPDATE 11/23/17 @ 6:10 p.m.

It’s a Thanksgiving Day escape from jail that's almost beyond belief. Now, that captured escapee, Phillip Tolliver told our camera he wants the jail to be shut down.

"It's really unorganized,” he said as he was being put into the back of the patrol car. “I could go on for days. Have DOC come in and watch for a week. It needs shut down. Punishment accepted."

According to Catlettsburg police, Tolliver is the sixth reported escape this year from the Boyd County Detention Center. That's not including the inmate riot and fire in August, and a corrections officer arrest this spring.

But according to Tolliver the problem was not that he couldn't break out of jail, but that he couldn't break back in.

"There was no plan to escape,” he said. “I've been going out and coming back in for two weeks."

According to police, the latest incident started about 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Tolliver used a pipe closet in a common area filled with 19 prisoners to get to the roof to get tobacco that an accomplice threw out. But the tobacco was outside the fence. So according to Tolliver, he jumped down to get it. The problem was when he tried to get back in through the wire.

It’s an assertion that frustrates Catlettsburg Ofc. Joe Ramey who was among the officers searching for Tolliver overnight.

"It's hard to put people in jail to get them away from drugs and illegal stuff when it seems like there's more stuff in the jail then out here sometimes."

Police say around 1:15 a.m., Tolliver knocked on the door of a home on the 1700 block of Center Street, about 8/10ths of a mile away from jail.

The resident told WSAZ Tolliver knew his stepfather by name, said his name was Matthew and needed to call someone because his car broke down. But that 10 minutes turned into 90 minutes, including borrowed food and cigarettes.

Finally, they made him leave, then called police, worried because of his lack of appropriate clothing.

Ofc. Ramey said if Tolliver hadn’t left his Facebook account still logged in, police wouldn't have known who to look for. They said he tried to contact a friend to pick him up, but that person couldn’t find a ride. They had gotten calls earlier of a suspicious man in town but hadn’t located anyone.

"He accidentally left it up,” said Ofc. Ramey. “We got lucky."

It took a call to jail to confirm Tolliver wasn't there. Tolliver had been jailed in October on drug charges.

It’s a call like very few Ramey has ever made.

"That was very strange for the simple fact that you think they should know who is in the jail and who is not."

Tolliver was found around 8 a.m. on a 15th Street, a gravel road right off U.S. 23.

Police said he was wearing shorts and a t-shirt but no shoes and he was very cold. They took him to the hospital because they were worried about his health.

"He seemed fairly happy that he was actually found because he was pretty cold."

Tolliver said he was getting sleepy but knew he couldn't lay down, otherwise he might never wake up.

For the last 25 years, Phillip Duncan has lived two doors away from the jail and one block from the police station.

"We don't feel nervous here,” said Duncan. “We figure if someone is going to escape, they're not going to hang around here."

But with all the issues in the last year, including six escapes, "makes you wonder if some changes might not need to come about," he said. “It’s a growing concern that more and more things are happening there. So we’re always keeping an eye on things.”

It’s a sentiment echoed, of all people, by Tolliver, that sixth escape.

"I don't have anything for Joe Burchett or the way this jail is ran,” Tolliver said.

Tolliver is now in the Greenup County Jail.

A deputy jailer at the Boyd County Detention Center said the incident is under investigation. But neither Jailer Joe Burchett nor any other administrator returned our messages Thursday.


A man is back in custody after police say he managed to escape from the Boyd County Detention Center.

Phillip Tolliver, 32, of Wurtland, was arrested after a resident spotted him walking in the area.

Police say the escape happened around 11 Wednesday night, according to surveillance video.

Catlettsburg Police Chief, Cameron Logan, says nobody knew Tolliver escaped until his officers received calls of a suspicious man in the area.

Tolliver asked a neighbor to use their cell phone and then logged into Facebook, messaging a couple people to come pick him up, according to Chief Logan.

Police say Tolliver left his Facebook open. The resident called police after he left because Tolliver was only wearing shorts, a t-shirt and was barefoot.

Chief Logan says officers have previously dealt with Tolliver and recognized him from his Facebook page. They also knew he was in jail.

"(Catlettsburg) officers called the jail and they told officers he was incarcerated. Officers said 'You might want to make sure,' so jailers went and checked and he was missing," Chief Logan said.

Police say Tolliver used a metal object to open the cell door. They say the lock on the door was partially torn. He then managed to get up in the ceiling and leave through a vent.

Catlettsburg Police searched for Tolliver all night and found him when a resident spotted him walking down a gravel road.

Tolliver was originally arrested in October on drug charges.

This is the sixth reported escape from the Boyd County Detention Center this year. Four prisoners previously escaped from the facility and one ran from jailers at the hospital.