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Shotgun theft victim waits as fugitive hunt continues

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wisc. (WEAU) - During the escape of two Jackson County inmates, a shotgun was stolen from a nearby residence.

The two inmates walked away from the Black River Correctional Center late Tuesday night, police said.

Eugene Bartos, who has lived near the prison since it opened more than 50 years ago, said he's never had any problems before this.

The former state champion skeet shooter from Black River Falls said he locks up his gun every night but may have forgotten Tuesday.

But after 18-year-old James Misleveck and 28-year-old James Newman escaped from the nearby Black River Correctional Center, Bartos' $1,400 dollar gun disappeared.

"I looked and right away i knew something was wrong," Bartos said. "All I done was look in the back and knew it was gone, they took it, case and all."

Police said the men likely took the gun before stealing a car, and leaving it at the Ho Chunk Casino, where they carjacked another and took the driver to Sparta where they took off with a third stolen car and started a high speed chase.

Jackson County Sheriff Duane Waldera said it's not the first time the prison's had an escape.

"It's never went to this extreme, there may have been stolen vehicles but never a combination of these acts," Waldera said. "This is a felony escape situation which of course would put them back into prison for awhile that's what makes them stay in the program and want to succeed."

Bartos said while he's hoping to get his gun back, he's not discouraged by what happened.

"I ain't moving ... I just hope they don't shoot somebody with my gun," he said.

Misleveck was convicted in Brown County for operating a vehicle without consent, burglary, and arson. A Department of Corrections spokesperson said he was nearing the end of his program at the prison. Newman was convicted in Brown County for discharging a firearm. The DOC said he just arrived to the prison in June.


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