February 7, 2016

Partly sunny

Man who escaped, robbed bank gets 4 years

Bryan Long, who escaped from a correctional facility and robbed a Fifth Third Bank branch in Elyria, appears in court Monday. (CT photo by Brad Dicken.)

ELYRIA — A Columbia Station man who escaped from the Lorain/Medina Community Based Correctional Facility and robbed a bank before fleeing into the Black River was sentenced Monday to four years and nine months in prison.

Bryan Long, 26, apologized for his actions and said he still needs to address his drug problem before Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Mark Betleski handed down the sentence.

“I wish I could go back in time and finish CBCF, but I don’t think technology has invented a time machine yet,” Long said.

He pleaded guilty to robbery, escape and obstructing official business charges on Monday before the sentencing.

Long and a second inmate, Brandon Bokar, escaped from the minimum-security facility in August while taking out the trash. Bokar, 19, was quickly recaptured.

Long remained free for several days until he was caught following the robbery of the Fifth Third Bank branch on Broad Street.

Police reported that Long walked into the bank and handed a teller a note. He ate a lollipop before taking around $3,000 in cash and leaving the bank. Police have said Long wasn’t armed during the robbery.

Long climbed down an embankment on the Black River, but police using a dog were able to track him. He was eventually cornered in the river and ultimately waded to shore and surrendered to officers.

Assistant County Prosecutor Chris Pierre said during Monday’s hearing that all of the money Long was accused of stealing was recovered and dried out.

Court records showed that Long was serving time at the CBCF on charges of failure to comply, resisting arrest and obstructing official business.

Bokar, who was being held at the CBCF on a robbery charge, pleaded guilty last year to an escape charge. He was sentenced to probation during a separate hearing Monday.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.

About Brad Dicken

Brad Dicken is the senior writer for the Chronicle-Telegram. He covers courts and county government, and has been with the Chronicle since 2001. He can be reached at 329-7147 or BDicken@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter.