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Inmate escapes from Oklahoma jail after allegedly attacking detention officer

PAULS VALLEY, Okla. - Authorities in Garvin County are searching for an inmate who brazenly escaped this past weekend from the county jail.

"Jason Willis is dangerous," said Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes. "He has a history of possessing a gun. He's got numerous charges around Oklahoma."

Officials said Willis was being escorted back to the jail after getting ice for lunch when he allegedly attacked a detention officer and took off.

"After getting the ice and on their way back to the jail, as the detention deputy was unlocking the door to enter the jail, Willis was able to sit the bucket of ice down and assault the deputy," Rhodes said.

Rhodes told News 4 he doesn't think the escape was planned but believes Willis was seizing the opportunity to run.

Willis allegedly punched the guard several times in the face, causing his nose to bleed.

"For someone who can escape from jail, cops and stuff, there's no telling what he's potentially capable of doing" said Dariann Allen, a nearby resident. "It is scary."

Law enforcement officials said WIllis is no stranger when it comes to running from the law.

"Willis was awaiting trial here in Garvin County for a gun charge, which involved a pursuit with police, which a stolen gun was thrown out of a car," Rhodes said.

Willis has served time for grand larceny and burglary. Now, authorities are adding felony escape and assault and battery on a police officer charges to his record.

"It's a small community, and I have three children of my own so knowing that it's much more than child support or fines, it's scary," Allen said.

The sheriff said his office and several other local and federal agencies have been actively looking for the inmate.

"Last night, we spent a lot of time in Pauls Valley looking in yards, alleys, streets, looked at a lot of closed circuit television systems around town last night," Rhodes said.

Folks around town just want Willis back behind bars.

"I hope they find him," Allen said.

Willis is from Davis, so law enforcement officials believes he's headed to that area. He was last seen wearing orange and white striped pants, a white t-shirt and no shoes.