A female Angelina County inmate, 22 year old Bridget Bebee of Huntington, just sentenced in State District Court, is hospitalized tonight with a head wound after county officials say she jumped out of a moving van transporting her back to jail. Bebee was secured by handcuffs, leg shackles and belly chains at the time. Angelina County Sheriff's investigators are conducting an internal investigation, while the Texas Rangers are conducting its own investigation.
The incident occurred about 3:20pm Friday, just west of the Angelina County jail in front of Hillcrest Cemetery on east Lufkin Avenue. Sheriff Kent Henson tells the East Texas News that a female inmate was being transported back to the jail, when she somehow opened the van door while handcuffed and shackled. The Sheriff says a transport deputy escorting the inmate managed to grab her by the arm, but she struggled free. The inmate was taken by ambulance to a local hospital suffering from various cuts and bruises and an apparent head wound. Her condition is not known, however, Chief Deputy Jim Casper said she is expected to remain hospitalized overnight. Sheriff Henson said Bebee was alert and talking to investigators, prior to being transported.
There will be an internal investigation and the Texas Rangers will conduct a joint investigation, as is common when an investigation involves a law enforcement agency. The sheriff says the Texas State Jail Commission will also be notified of the incident. He says once the inmate's medical needs are attended, the inmate will be returned to the county jail and felony escape charges will be filed against her.
According to Chief Casper, Bebee had been taken to State District Court for a revocation of probation hearing on D-W-I charges. She had been sentenced to SAFPF, a confined rehabilitation facility. She also faces a list of misdemeanor charges, including theft.
Sheriff Henson says based on his preliminary investigation, it appears his office followed the proper protocol. He says he's asking for the community to pray for the inmate and his transport deputy, who was visibly shaken by what happened.