American Who Sawed His Way Out of Bali Prison Recaptured

Chrishan Beasley, who'd escaped 'notorious' Kerobokan jail, caught 100 miles away
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2017 7:40 AM CST
A motorcyclist passes by Kerobokan Prison, where American citizen Christian Beasley was detained for a hashish drug offense, in Bali, Indonesia, on Dec. 11, 2017.   (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

(Newser) – Two Americans busted out of a "notorious" Indonesian prison earlier this month, with one captured almost immediately. The second escapee, 32-year-old Chrishan Beasley (the BBC reports his name as Christian Beasley), evaded detection for nearly a week, but was finally caught Saturday on the island of Lombok, about 100 miles away from Bali's Kerobokan Prison, where he'd been imprisoned since an August drug charge, the New York Times reports. "We got him around 9:30pm … in a street outside of a [budget hotel]," the local police chief says. Prison officials believe he escaped in the early hours of Dec. 11 by sawing through the steel bars over his cell, using a rope to descend one wall, then using a ladder left by a construction crew to climb over another wall on his escape route, the AP reports.

The Washington Post notes the poor state of many Indonesian prisons, plagued by overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, staffing issues, drugs, and violence. Kerobokan, which is designed to hold 300 or so inmates, has at least 1,400. Because of the country's strict drug laws, prisons there are filled with drug offenders—Beasley was in Kerobokan after being found at a Bali post office, allegedly with 5.7 grams of hash. Many prisoners decide it's better to attempt an escape than endure another day behind bars, leading to routine jailbreaks. "I've seen people get murdered in there. I've seen people get bashed. I've seen drug overdoses. One guy died in my arms from sickness," a former Kerobokan prisoner from New Zealand notes. A rep from the nation's law and human rights ministry says they're investigating whether prison guards played any role in Beasley's escape. (Read more Indonesia stories.)

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