FAIRFIELD — Prosecutors gave a drug addict who attacked three sheriff’s deputies during a failed jail escape a plea deal punishment of being placed on probation – again.
Michael J. Schabert, identified in court records as Joseph M. Schabert, pleaded no contest Monday to a felony charge of escape using force and to a misdemeanor assault charge.
In exchange for his pleas, the District Attorney’s Office dropped six felony charges which could have landed Schabert, 24, a prison sentence of 10 years or more. In addition to being placed on probation again, Schabert was ordered to enroll in a drug treatment program and he was given a four-year suspended sentence.
Schabert was on his way back to his jail cell after a Feb. 10 court appearance when he ran from jail staff in an underground tunnel that runs between the county jail and the adjacent courthouse.
A trio of sheriff’s deputies chased Schabert, who ended up in a small room at the courthouse with a locked exit door leading to a parking lot. When the deputies confronted Schabert, he grabbed a dry chemical fire extinguisher and emptied it into their faces. The dry powder triggered smoke detectors. That prompted an evacuation of the building, which had already been surrounded by Fairfield police and other deputies who had learned about the escape effort.
Although partially blinded, the deputies apprehended Schabert and took him into the parking lot before he was taken to a hospital and treated for exposure to fire extinguisher chemicals.
All three deputies were also taken to the hospital ,where they were treated and released. All three deputies returned to work the next day.
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