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Final two escaped inmates give up

Six prisoners had fled Chicago jail

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A pedestrian walks by the Cook County jail, from which six inmates escaped Saturday.

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Chicago
Crime, Law and Justice

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- The final two inmates of six who escaped over the weekend from the Cook County jail surrendered to police early Monday after being holed up with a woman and her children in an apartment, a Cicero Police Department spokesman said.

According to Dan Proft, the two men gave themselves up around 3 a.m. (4 a.m. CT), surrendering peacefully. The woman and one of her children came out of the apartment at the same time.

The standoff with authorities began shortly after 9 p.m. (10 p.m. ET), following a 911 tip that three of the escapees had taken refuge in the Cicero apartment. Four of the children were released over time and one of the inmates surrendered earlier.

Police said they are uncertain of the woman's role in the events, but said she knew at least one of the escapees.

Six inmates escaped from a maximum-security division of the Cook County Jail late Saturday, officials said, aided by a seventh inmate who led the escape but was recaptured. Three others were taken into custody Sunday in metro Chicago.

It was the jail's third recent escape and the second since Friday, when an inmate slipped into a laundry truck and broke out. He was arrested the following day.

Cook County Sheriff Michael Sheahan on Sunday faced blistering questions from reporters on whether the escapes point to a problem at the facility.

"The last 10 days, as far as I'm concerned, it makes me sick," Sheahan said. "Three in a year, as far as I'm concerned, isn't acceptable."

In the division, which houses inmates with disciplinary problems, the inmates are let out of their individual cells one hour a day for recreation, Cook County sheriff's spokesman Bill Cunningham said.

An inmate was showering shortly before midnight Saturday when he threw a cup of warm, soapy water in the guard's face, then "physically accosted him."

The inmate pulled a homemade shank -- a crude piece of metal that had been sharpened -- and held the officer at bay, handcuffing him with his own handcuffs, Cunningham said. The inmate then went to the officers' control area and electronically opened six other cells. Those inmates came out, and one lit a mattress on fire, Cunningham said.

At knifepoint, the first inmate forced the officer to disrobe and then donned the officer's uniform. When another officer smelled smoke and came to assist, the seven inmates overpowered him, Cunningham said. The inmates then grabbed a set of keys from a nearby desk and opened two doors to put them in a parking lot, where they scaled a barbed-wire fence.

The officer was supposed to be one of three guards in the jail tier, but instead was by himself, Sheahan said Sunday. Circumstances surrounding the escape remained under investigation, he said, and officers and inmates were being questioned.

"If something is wrong here, we will take it, and we will make sure there's accountability," Sheahan told reporters. "We don't accept excuses on something like this."

The inmates who escaped were being held on charges ranging from aggravated kidnapping and attempted escape to murder, armed robbery and aggravated battery.

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