Two county Detention Center inmates who escaped police custody last week used a key jail officials believe one of the men had hidden in his mouth.
Detention Center Superintendent Richard Baker said corrections officers searching Anthony James Freeland, 20, and Donald Leander Curtis, 21, may have missed the key Baker believes was concealed in Freeland's mouth.
"In a search you can still miss things like that," Baker said. "Al- though they strip them down, there are many hiding places for something like that."
Baker said he does not know how the pair got thekey in the first place.
"There are a lot of options as to how he could have gotten the key," he said.
Handcuff keys are available in stores, Baker said. One of the men could have brought the key with him. Or it could have been picked up inside the jail.
Freeland, who had been charged with escaping from a Pennsylvania jail, had his hands bound in front of him and attached to a waist chain. He was wearing leg irons. Each of Curtis' hands was handcuffed to another prisoner's.
The fugitives had been taken from the jail to District Court on Taylor Avenue at about 8 a.m. Sept. 3 by Wackenhut Security Services armed guards.
Both men were scheduled for trial that day.
When the van was stopped in back of the courthouse and five other inmates were being unloaded, the pair bolted as they stepped out of the van door.
They had used the key to dismantle their handcuffs during the ride, Baker said.
Freeland was being held on bonds of $5,000 bond for robbery with a deadly weapon, $250 for failing to appear in court on a traffic charge and $2,500 for failing to appear in court ona theft charge. He was being held without bond on another robbery with a deadly weapon charge.
In a 19-count indictment, Freeland is charged with robbing and beating two men May 10, 1989. The indictment also charges Freeland with conspiring to rob another man, court records show.
Freeland was scheduled to go to trial Monday in a batterycase where a corrections officer charged that Freeland punched him in the face June 6 and threatened him. He is also wanted in Prince George's County on robbery with a deadly weapon charges, court records show.
Curtis was being held on bonds of $30,000 bond for robbery with a deadly weapon, $20,000 for burglary and $15,000 for possession of narcotics.
According to court records, Curtis walked into S & N Katz Jewelers in Harundale Mall on June 13 and asked to see two rings. He then grabbed them and ran out of the store.
A man chased him and, according to charging documents, Curtis turned on him with a large knife and threatened him.
He was also awaiting trial on chargesof robbing a Dominio's pizza delivery man of $17 at gunpoint March 13 in Glen Burnie.