01/21/09 — Inmate escapes from jail in only boxers

View Archive

Inmate escapes from jail in only boxers

By Steve Herring
Published in News on January 21, 2009 1:46 PM

Full Size

Christian Godette

A Goldsboro man awaiting trial on charges of sexual assault, first-degree burglary and second-degree kidnapping escaped from the Wayne County Detention Center Monday morning wearing nothing but his boxer shorts after overpowering and assaulting a guard.

Christian Godette was at large for about 30 minutes before being apprehended by sheriff's deputies and Goldsboro police in the West Haven area.

It wasn't the first time that Godette has assaulted an officer in an escape attempt, Chief Deputy Ray Smith said.

Smith said Godette failed in his first escape attempt and that even if he had gotten the guard's keys, he was on a floor that he could not get off.

This time, Smith said jailer Clayton Swinson opened Godette's cell door to remove a mop bucket when Godette pushed the door open and overpowered Swinson.

Smith said he thinks Swinson was able to get out one call for help on his radio. Another jailer responded and found Swinson on the floor.

Godette took Swinson's keys, wallet and handcuffs. He used the handcuffs to restrain the jailer.

"He beat him up," Smith said.

Swinson was treated for his injuries and released from Wayne Memorial Hospital.

Godette used the keys to unlock a door connecting the detention center to a crossover to the courthouse. Smith said no one was aware the key would fit that door.

"That won't happen again," Smith said. "That has been changed as of today."

Smith said detention center personnel responded quickly to the escape, but that Godette was a fast runner and eluded them.

"We had the dogs on him pretty quick," Smith said.

The chase lasted about 30 minutes. During that time Godette apparently took some red shorts off a clothesline and was wearing them when he was apprehended on Alabama Street near Mercy Street.

Godette was returned to the detention facility and probably will face additional charges, Sheriff Carey Winders said.

Those charges could include robbery, assault, escape and possibly kidnapping because Godette used handcuffs to restrain Swinson's movements.

Winders said Capt. Fame Greenfield and other deputies responded quickly to the escape as did the Goldsboro Police Department.

"I am very appreciative of the police department's help," Winders said.

The escape, Winders said, underscores the need for additional help at the jail as well as other security needs that need to be addressed.

The incident, he said, also should show people just how dangerous the job is and that some people awaiting trial can be very dangerous.