Police detail woman's escape during jail booking

Trishawnna Mitchell, 32, freed one hand from handcuffs, ran

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police said a woman who escaped while being booked into jail on a domestic violence arrest early Monday morning was recaptured about seven hours later, and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has launched an internal investigation into how it happened.

Police say Trishawnna Mitchell, 32, ran out of the "sally port" -- the garage where police drive into the jail building to unload prisoners -- about 12:15 a.m. while the arresting officer was focused on his computer doing required paperwork for the arrest.

She was arrested shortly after police received a tip from a citizen that she was seen -- wearing a rainbow dress, barefoot and with one hand cuffed -- near her home on Benedict Road in Northwest Jacksonville. JSO Chief Pat Ivey said she did not resist arrest.

Police originally responded to McDuff Avenue on Sunday afternoon in reference to a battery/domestic violence call. They said Mitchell assaulted her girlfriend of two months, pulling her hair and biting her face, arm and leg.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Trishawnna Mitchell
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Trishawnna Mitchell

Police arrested Mitchell (pictured in JSO booking photo), and Officer James Marlow took her to the Duval County jail.

Ivey said Marlow adjusted her handcuffs when Mitchell complained that they were too tight, "which is not unreasonable." She managed to slip one of the handcuffs off and ran out of the open door of the sally port (pictured).

About four minutes passed before officers noticed she was gone, and Ivey said the Sheriff's Office is reviewing surveillance video to find out exactly how long it was before her escape was reported. They will also research whether the sally port door was left open or had opened to let another police car inside.

Ivey said that at the time, there were a lot of police vehicles entering and exiting the sally port, and there was a significant delay when the garage door shuts after a vehicle leaves, allowing Mitchell to run out.

Marlow has been with JSO for 11 months, Ivey said.

Officers from multiple zones, a K-9 and air unit responded to search for Mitchell.

At about 7:30 a.m., a concerned resident spotted Mitchell and called 911.

"We encourage, even if something seems trivial and minor, it may be that one thing we need for any case, even a murder investigation," Ivey said. "So please, we encourage everyone to call."

Mitchell was escorted by two officers the second time around, and her rainbow dress was swapped for a red jumpsuit.

According to jail records, Mitchell has two previous arrests in Duval County: April 2010 for aggravated assault and October 2010 for possession of a firearm or concealed weapon by a convicted felon.

In 2001, Mitchell was sentenced to five years in prison on a conviction for grand theft and fraudulent use of personal identification. She was released from Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala in September 2006, according to Department of Corrections records.