by Dana Gray
Two Caledonia Community Work Camp inmates working on a flood cleanup crew ran from thefr duties and their jail sentence Sunday afternoon.
Michael Delaney, 32, and Jeremiah Phillips, 20, were part of a 20-member crew sent to the part of the state hit hardest by last week's heavy rain and flooding.
Work camp and Northeast Regional Correctional Facility Superintendent Ray Flum said the Sunday crew and a crew that was in Montgomery on Saturday were there to help the victims of the flooding.
At 12:15 p.m. Sunday, Delaney's and Phillips' helping hands were gone. They ran from the scene.
Left with 18 other work camp inmates, correction's officers could not pursue, Flum said.
He said two patrols were sent to search the area.
The state police, the sheriff's department, border patrol, customs, and police agencies in New York have been notified.
Delaney is a 6 feet tall, white male and has blond hair and blue eyes. He is serving a 10- to 12-month sentence for a felony offense of retail theft. Phillips is a white male with dark complexion. He is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, with brown hair and brown eyes. His sentence is set to last 2 to 5 years for offenses of burglary, operating without owner's consent, petty larceny and resisting arrest.
Because he has a history of a simple assault offense, Phillips is listed as potentially dangerous.
Flum said he believes the flight of Delaney and Phillips is only the second incident of escape from a work camp worksite since the work camp was opened.
The first guy was found out-of-state a year after his flight.
Flum said there was no correction's officer error attributable to the flight of the men from the flood scene. He said what possibly could be improved is the screening of inmates selected for a particular jobsite.