An embarassed and determined Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters held a press conference after Bradley Monical who was scheduled for court escaped from the Jackson County Jail Monday night. Mail Tribune / Bob Pennell

'Mistakes were made'

A man who allegedly robbed an Ashland bank at gunpoint two years ago escaped the Jackson County Jail Monday night by standing on another inmate's shoulders in the recreation hall, removing a piece of metal mesh from the roof covering and leaping into a nearby tree to freedom.

Bradley William Monical, 42, fled the jail at about 10 p.m. and was still at large Tuesday night. Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters said police from several agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, are searching for Monical. An internal review of policies and procedures is also under way at the jail.

"Mistakes were made," Winters said. "We're going to locate those mistakes."

Police and K-9 units combed the area in search of Monical, Winters said, but Monday night's rain made the scent difficult for K-9 units to track. Numerous law enforcement agencies have been notified statewide.

"I'm embarrassed by the situation," Winters said.

Monical is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall and 170 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing dark green jail clothes. Officials said he is a danger to the community. Residents should call 911 immediately if they see him.

"We want him back in custody," Winters said.

Winters said a prison guard was on duty during the escape, but that the guard's monitoring area extended beyond the recreation hall. The area is surrounded by tall concrete walls and reinforced steel on all sides and is topped with a thick, metal mesh. Winters said deputies are still investigating how Monical was able to remove the mesh.

Winters described Monical as having a transient lifestyle, but court records listed Salem as his address. (Clarification: see below)

Monical was set to be tried in March 2013 in Jackson County Circuit Court for the December 2010 robbery at PremierWest Bank, 2235 Ashland St. Monical is suspected of entering the bank at 2 p.m. on Dec. 16, 2010, wearing a hat, sunglasses and bandana and brandishing a gun. He allegedly grabbed undisclosed amounts of cash from each teller station before running from the bank.

He was arrested following a robbery in Coos Bay in April 2011, for which he eventually was convicted of two counts of first-degree robbery, 10 counts of unlawful use of a weapon, aggravated theft and felon in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to 22 years in state prison.

Monical was indicted in July 2011 on five counts of second-degree robbery related to the Ashland case. He pleaded not guilty, records show. Monical had been in the jail since August 2011 to face the additional charges.

Winters said Monical had admitted to other robberies across the state and in Washington and Idaho.

"He had admitted on multiple occasions to robbing various banks throughout the Northwest," Winters said.

The World newspaper in Coos Bay reported in June that police suspected Monical had tried to escape before, and testified of their suspicions at Monical's first robbery trial. Corrections officials said they found a handmade rope wrapped around Monical's chest under his shirt before leaving for the courthouse.

Authorities also saw handmade cushioned insoles in his socks, leading them to believe he planned an escape from the courtroom's jury room, whose windows are 12 feet off the ground.

Winters said law enforcement was not notified about Monical's previous escape attempt. He said it would have been helpful to know about it, but that it doesn't excuse the escape.

"When I get done with this, we're never having another one," Winters said.

The tree Monical leaped into has been cut down, along with several others nearby. The recreation hall cover is also being replaced with a stronger material.

"We own this deal, and we're going to make it right," Winters said.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at

Clarification: The source for Monical's listed address has been clarified in this version.

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