KALKASKA (WWJ/AP) – It sounds like something out of an old Western, but authorities say it was no stunt when a man crashed a vehicle into a northern Michigan jail in an attempt to free a female inmate.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle and MLive.com report 45-year-old Derek G. Lavis is charged with attempted aiding of a prisoner escape and malicious destruction of a building.

Kalkaska County corrections officers reported a loud banging on the north wall of the jail around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, and a deputy saw a Chevy Suburban ramming into the jail’s outer walls.   

Tire tracks and broken glass outside the jail’s outer wall were visible Monday morning, as well as a large dent and a cracked window.

The vehicle took off and investigators said they later arrested Lavis about 9 a.m. Monday in a wooded area in Oliver Township, about 12 miles south of the jail.

The relationship between the inmate and the suspect was not immediately known.

A corrections officials said the inmate could face charges as well if it’s determined she knew in advance about the jailbreak attempt — but, so far, she had denied any knowledge of it.

Lavis, who was arraigned Monday afternoon, is being held on $1 million bond. He is due back in court late this month.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment Tuesday with  his court-appointed defense lawyer Thomas Seger.

Kalkaska County has seen previous jailbreak attempts before, but Sheriff David Israel said this was the first in which a vehicle was used.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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