A Tecumseh State Correctional Institution inmate attempted to escape custody after being brought back to the prison from a Lancaster County court appearance, prison officials said Thursday.

At 4:15 p.m., Dillon Martin broke open a small bag of unidentified powder that dispersed into the air when the transport van arrived at the prison's entrance, Nebraska Department of Correctional Services spokeswoman Dawn-Renee Smith said.

The van stopped, and the driver and a second staff member got out, Smith said.

Martin was combative and aggressive, Smith said. 

The third staff member, riding in the secure section of the van with Martin, engaged the electronic restraint device and deployed chemical agent, Smith said.

Staff opened the door for the third staffer to exit the van, and Martin came charging out at staff, Smith said.

The staff members physically subdued him and returned him to the secure perimeter of the prison, she said.

Additional prison staff and the Johnson County Sheriff’s office responded. 

No serious injuries were reported.

The Nebraska State Patrol is investigating the attempted escape.

In the release, Corrections Director Scott Frakes said, “All transportation security practices will be reviewed and a critical incident review conducted.”

Martin is serving 10 years and 6 months to 25 years for assault, firearm, theft and drug charges out of Douglas and Sarpy counties. 

The 24-year-old was in Lincoln for a Lancaster County Court hearing in which he waived a preliminary hearing on charges of assault by a confined person.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.



Riley Johnson reports on local government in Lincoln.

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