HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) - According to court records, a convicted robber who escaped from a Hampton prison Tuesday also escaped from police three years ago.
According to Lt. Alonzo Cherry with the Hampton Sheriff's Office, Michael Dontae Stanback, 28, of Newport News was sentenced to 14-years in prison Sept. 5 on charges of entering a bank armed, robbery and two counts of use of a firearm.
On Nov. 6, 2008, Stanback and three other alleged accomplices robbed the Navy Federal Credit Union in the 200 block of Fox Hill Road . When they fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money, officers were able to locate the vehicle. Investigators told WAVY.com the suspect vehicle slid into a police cruiser as its driver attempted to make a u-turn. Officers recovered the stolen money from the bank as well as three handguns.
Stanback pleaded guilty in Newport News court to escaping custody Nov. 14, 2009. Stanback was arrested the same day he ran from an officer and was sentenced to 12 months in prison, 11 of which were suspended.
Lt. Cherry said Stanback escaped from a recreational area at Hampton Correctional Facility sometime Tuesday afternoon, but could not comment on the exact time Stanback was discovered missing. Investigators are still trying to determine what time Stanback disappeared.
"Somebody really dropped the ball. Somebody made a huge mistake," said Tiawanna Peterson who works across the street from the Hampton City Jail.
Tiawanna and her daughter, Teshara, say they usually feel safe in the neighborhood surrounding the jail, but word of Stanback's escape concerns them.
"If you did something violent to get in there, then you're going to do something violent to stay out," said Tiawanna.
Stanback is a described as a black male standing 5'10" tall and weighing approximately 170 pounds. He has facial hair, brown eyes and last was seen wearing a braided hairstyle. He is considered dangerous.
Tiawanna wonders what's going on this year.
"It's like you hear these inmates are getting out on the regular."
It happened in Portsmouth in May when an inmate escaped work release. In June, an inmate escaped the Chesapeake Jail. In August, a Gloucester inmate escaped work release, and in early September an Isle of Wight inmate also escaped work release.
All of those inmates were captured and are back behind bars. Hampton Residents hope Stanback meets the same fate.
"They always call their family, so that's the way they get caught. You know, calling someone and that's how they track them down," says Nya Hendricks of Hampton.
While deputies work to find Stanback, Tiawanna says she hopes the sheriff's office is more forthcoming with details surrounding his escape.
"It doesn't make the jail look good and it doesn't make the community feel safe."
Sgt. Jason Price with the Hampton Police Division told WAVY.com officers are assisting with the search for Stanback.
Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Stanback is asked to contact the Hampton Sheriff's Office at 757-727-6760 or the Hampton Police Division at 911.
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