An accused murderer attempted to escape from custody Saturday, June 4 at the Pennington County Jail.
Eric James Reinbold, 45, Oklee has been charged with felony offenses of first-degree assault, attempted escape from custody, and fourth-degree assault, according to the complaint. He remains in custody.
A female corrections officer suffered a head injury and was transported by ambulance to Sanford Medical Center. A male corrections officer also went to Sanford. The complaint indicated that the latter corrections officer had suffered back problems in the past and he felt additional back pain after this incident. He was checked out and released from Sanford.
Among other things, Reinbold is accused of pushing the woman, leading her to fall and hit her head on the concrete floor. He also allegedly grabbed and dragged the woman across the concrete jail floor.
Reinbold is accused of forcibly shoving the man into a concrete wall, where he then fell. He also held a white-colored pencil to the man’s throat in an effort to get the man to open an interior jail door. The incident ended after a third corrections officer was able to stun him with a Taser. The entire assault occurred over a three-minute period.
Reinbold remains in custody on earlier felony counts of second-degree murder, including one count alleging intentional murder. In that case, he is accused of murdering his estranged wife, Lissette, on July 9, 2021. He was arrested on Aug. 4, 2021, after he had been on the lam for 26 days and located on a vacant farmstead about four miles northeast of Oklee. That area had been previously searched. Currently, a trial has been set for Sept. 19 through Oct. 7 in that case.
The latest charges stemmed from an incident at about 9:26 p.m. on June 4 at the Pennington County Jail, according to the complaint. Three corrections officers were working at the time. The female corrections officer was distributing medications to inmates in Charlie Pod. The male corrections officer was working at the control desk, and a second female corrections officer was conducting a well-being check in Alpha Pod.
Armed with a white-colored pencil, Reinbold allegedly exited Charlie Pod and grabbed the corrections officer working there as she backed away from him. They struggled with Reinbold pushing her. The woman then lost her footing, striking the back of her head on the concrete floor and causing her glasses to fly three to four feet away from her. The impact caused the woman to see stars.
Reinbold then allegedly grabbed her by her arms and started dragging her. The male corrections officer approached, leading Reinbold to let go of the woman. However, the incident continued with Reinbold lunging at the female corrections officer with the white-colored pencil. He grabbed her by her shirt and hair. Reinbold also used a metal stair beam to pull her closer to him. While continuing to hold the white-colored pencil, he attempted to hit her on the left side of her body. The man was able to get Reinbold to let go of the woman, leading the woman to fall backward on her left hip and left leg.
Reinbold allegedly told the male corrections officer to open a door. He then forcibly shoved the man into a concrete wall, causing him to fall to the concrete floor. Reinbold again told the man to open the interior jail door. The man said he wasn’t able to open the door because he couldn’t feel his legs.
Reinbold then ripped the man’s star-shaped corrections badge from his shirt and attempted to use it on the badge reader to open the door. The door wouldn’t open because that particular badge isn’t the type of badge required to open the door.
Reinbold then allegedly held the white-colored pencil to the man’s throat, demanding that he open the interior door. Meanwhile, the female corrections officer yelled that Reinbold was attacking her and let her coworker out of the Alpha Pod door. After hearing the injured corrections officer yelling, the other female corrections officer unholstered her Taser and then exited Alpha Pod.
The latter corrections officer arrived to find that Reinbold had pinned her male colleague to the concrete floor and against the concrete wall. He was holding the white-colored pencil to the man’s neck. She attempted to verbally deescalate the situation to no avail. The woman fired her Taser, but the probes didn’t fully penetrate Reinbold’s skin given the amount of clothing that he was wearing. However, he dropped the pencil and began to fall over. While he fell, Reinbold grabbed the male corrections officer and attempted to fight him. The woman pulled the Taser trigger a second time, but it wasn’t effective.
The two female corrections officers then jumped onto Reinbold’s back in an attempt to remove Reinbold from the man. During the struggle, Reinbold attempted to remove the Taser from the woman’s hand. The injured corrections officer was able to remove the spent cartridge from the Taser.
Reinbold allegedly possessed a Pennington County badge with the badge pin sticking out. The injured female corrections officer placed all of her weight down on Reinbold because she was afraid that he would attempt to stab one of the corrections officers or himself. The other female corrections officer then stunned the right side of Reinbold’s ribs with the Taser. He dropped the badge and they were able to handcuff him. A police sergeant and two police officers soon arrived and assisted in placing him in a holding cell.
The white-colored pencil was confiscated. The entire incident was captured on jail video surveillance.