Authorities: Two inmates plot to escape jail, one assaults guard

Virginia Gazette

Two men are accused of assaulting a corrections officer while trying to break out of Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail.

Kendell Serrette, 43, of Newport News, and Raekwon Lamont Jones, 18, of Williamsburg, were charged Sept. 4 with malicious wounding, attempted escape, assaulting a correctional officer and conspiracy to assault a correctional officer.

Armed with a shank made from a toothbrush, police allege Serrette attacked a 45-year-old corrections officer on Aug. 29 while he was conducting security checks in one of the blocks that house prisoners at the regional jail in James City County.

Serrette allegedly grabbed the officer, held the shank to his throat and demanded his keys, police said.

The unidentified officer defended himself until other officers came to his aid, police said. He suffered some minor injuries to his arms from the shank during the struggle.

Authorities believe Serrette and Jones conspired together, planning to attack a corrections officer and take his keys and equipment so they could escape.

When investigators searched Jones’ cell, they found a hand-written map of the jail detailing their escape route, said police, in a news release.

Serrette is serving a two-year sentence for weapons offenses, destruction of property and violating his probation in York County. Jones is being held awaiting trial on sexual assault charges.

Williamsburg/James City County Sheriff Bob Deeds, chairman of the jail’s Board of Directors, said jail officials take attacks like this one seriously, and were glad the incident did not result in serious injury — for correctional officers or inmates.

“The staff handled this incident very well,” Deeds said Tuesday.”This was no ‘near-escape.’ There were still several layers of security to get through.”

According to James City County Police, the new charges Serrette and Jones face stem from an Aug. 29 attack.

Both inmates are being held on the new charges at the regional jail that serves Williamsburg, Poquoson, James City and York counties, without bond.

Copyright © 2019, The Virginia Gazette