Sheriff asks for citizens’ help in locating escaped inmate Omari Jaiquan Smith

Published 7:23 am Wednesday, July 19, 2023

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NATCHEZ — The Adams County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help from city and county residents in locating escaped inmate Omari Jaiquan Smith.

Smith, 22, was being held temporarily in the jail’s visitation room when he kicked out a window and escaped at about 5:20 a.m., said Sheriff Travis Patten.

“Early this morning, at about 3 a.m., Smith was causing all kinds of problems in the jail. We are overrun in the jail with lunacy patients, and Smith is a lunacy patient,” Patten said.

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He said the jail’s two holding cells for mental health patients were filled, so when Smith began acting out, guards had to put him in a visitation area temporarily until they could get other inmates moved around and secure to find a place for Smith.

“We don’t have a jail where we can cut water off in the cells, so we can’t put lunacy patients in them because they will turn on the water and flood the jail,” the sheriff said. “We were trying to move other inmates around to put him in the holding cell downstairs when he kicked out the window in visitation and ran out the front door.”

Every available sheriff’s deputy, including Patten, is out looking for Smith now, who was last seen shortly after 5:20 a.m. running south on Canal Street toward the bridge.

“I need everybody in the city and county to help look for this man,” Patten said.

Because he is a mental patient, the sheriff asked citizens to not approach or try to apprehend Smith, but to call 9-1-1 or the Adams County Sheriff’s Office at 601-442-2752.

Smith was booked into the jail on Jan. 19 on burglary charges and is being held on $50,000 bond.