Two ‘Dangerous’ Prisoners Escape from New York’s Clinton Correctional Center

Photo/Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Clinton County, NY

New York State police are mounting a man hunt for two “dangerous” prisoners who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Center early on Saturday, authorities report.

The state police received the report of the escape just before 6AM on Saturday, when prison guards discovered the pair missing during an early morning bed check.

Missing are 48-year-old Richard Matt and 34-year-old David Sweat, both of whom were convicted of murder.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the escape “extraordinary” and noted that it is the first escape from the prison’s maximum security wing since it opened in 1865.

Prison authorities were surprised that the pair escaped by using power tools to hack their way through prison walls. The escapees used tunnels and catwalks in the interior of the prison and ultimately got out through a manhole cover. Administrators are investigating and trying to determine where the two got all the power tools.

Governor Cuomo visited the cells from which the prisoners escaped, and the state released photos of the scene late on Saturday.

State police describe Richard Matt as a six-foot-tall, 210-pound white man with black hair and hazel eyes. He has a tattoo on his back that reads “Mexico Forever”, a heart tattoo on his chest and left shoulder, and a marine corps insignia on his right shoulder.

David Sweat is described as a 5-foot-11 inch tall white man weighing in at 165 pounds. He has brown hair and green eyes. He has tattoos on his left bicep and his right fingers.

Both should be considered armed and dangerous, and police warn citizens not to approach either man.

Anyone who thinks they have seen either prisoner or have any information should call State Police at 563-3761.

The Clinton Correctional facility is so named because it is in Clinton County, New York. The county is named after George Clinton, New York’s first Governor, our fourth Vice President, and one of America’s founding fathers.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at