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Unlocked gate aided Washington County duo's escape from Greene County Prison

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Friday, June 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Two inmates escaped from the Greene County Prison by walking through an unlocked gate and climbing atop a picnic table to scale the fence, the warden said on Thursday.

Jason William Roe, 33, of Daisytown in Washington County, who is awaiting trial on a homicide charge, and Rocco John Iacovone, 27, of Washington, who is awaiting trial for robbery, escaped on Saturday but were captured about two hours later, Warden Harry D. Gillispie said in a statement.

A tower guard, following prison policy, fired a warning shot at the men as they fled about 12:30 p.m. while prisoners were outside for recreation, Gillispie said. No one was injured.

“The men were able to escape after a corrections officer failed to secure a gate separating the prison's main recreation yard from a minimum-security yard,” Gillispie said.

As the prisoners were escorted into the yard, Roe and Iacovone went through the gate and picked up an inmate water cooler. The guard spotted them and ordered them back into the main yard.

Instead, the warden said, they dropped the water cooler, ran to the back of the minimum-security yard and upended a wooden picnic table to scale a service gate, squeezing between the top of the gate and the row of razor wire above. They were caught less than a mile away from the prison.

The prison made changes to ensure such a escape does not happen again, Gillispie said.

Officials also will try to implement an emergency alert system to notify the public about emergencies at the facility.

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or

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