Inmate escapes from OCCC, may have punched hole in ceiling

Daniel Skelton
OCCC escapee Daniel Skelton

Authorities are searching for an inmate who escaped from Oahu Community Correctional Center Monday morning.

According to the Dept. of Public Safety, Daniel Skelton, 23, was reported missing from the 6 a.m. headcount.

During a news conference, officials said it appeared Skelton punched a hole in the wooden ceiling of a bathroom shower, climbed into a crawl space and accessed the roof.

“We believe that he may have punched a hole in the ceiling in the bathroom, climbed through the ceiling onto the roof, got down from the roof, but we’re not exactly sure yet exactly how he got through the fence,” said Dept. of Public Safety director Ted Sakai.

A spokesperson later said he found a “weak spot” in the barbed wire fence and somehow got through it. He did not scale the fence, she said.

Authorities said they are studying surveillance video but will not release it to the media as the investigation is ongoing.

OCCC was on full lockdown for several hours while staff investigated Monday morning’s escape. The lockdown was lifted on the main building before 11 a.m., however Annex 1, where the escape happened, remains locked down while authorities continue their investigation.

Skelton is 5-foot-10 and 145 lbs. with long black hair. He was in prison on a probation violation. Past convictions include burglary and theft.

Authorities said he was admitted on June 4 and was being held on $20,000 bail.

Anyone with information about Skelton’s whereabouts can call 911.

“We are investigating as best we can right now. We have our Internal Affairs office involved in the investigation,” Sakai said. “Honolulu Police Dept. and sheriffs are also investigating. Sheriffs and HPD are also actively searching for him in the community.”

Sakai described Annex 1 as a medium security unit on the Ewa side of the facility.

“The building was actually built for work furlough, but because of overcrowding, we’ve had to shore up the security features and we’re now holding medium security inmates there,” he said. “They really need to be in a harder setting, but this is what he have.”

Monday’s escape comes about a week after inmate Allan Abihai walked away from work furlough on Tuesday, June 10.

Abihai, a convicted sex offender, is still on the loose. Anyone with information about Abihai can also call 911.

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