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Ind. jailbreak falls short

The Associated Press

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Indiana- An inmate trying to escape from his cell crashed through a ceiling panel and landed just feet from jailers in the lockup's lobby, authorities said.

Paul Stein, 32, of Kokomo, was in the Montgomery County jail on a public intoxication charge when he crawled through a hatch in his holding cell, they said.

"It is there so we can get up there and fix plumbing and lighting problems," said jail officer Robin Threlkeld. "He was able to open the door and pull himself up and through somehow, and then he fell down through a panel in the lobby."

Stein wasn't injured in the fall Saturday at the jail in Crawfordsville, about 45 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

"His feet came through first," said Montgomery County Sheriff Dennis Rice.

Authorities were investigating how Stein was able to open the panel.

Stein faces an additional preliminary charge of escape and remained in custody Tuesday.

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