Police: Nurse assistant helped inmate escape with hidden key

MCKEESPORT, Pa. (AP) – Police say a prisoner who managed to take off his handcuffs and flee a Pennsylvania hospital despite being shackled to his bed was aided by a nursing assistant who hid a handcuff key in a tissue tucked between two boxes of candy.

Forty-seven-year-old Michele Sims was arraigned Monday on charges including hindering the apprehension of inmate Alexander Erb. He escaped Oct. 12 from UPMC McKeesport hospital and eluded authorities for more than 16 hours.

Police say the 26-year-old Erb was a cousin of Sims’ stepchildren.

The Port Vue woman is jailed on $5,000 bail pending a Nov. 9 hearing. Online court records don’t list an attorney for her.

Police say Erb had been arrested in a domestic dispute. He was under guard by a deputy but used a nurse as an obstacle as he escaped.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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