Escaped inmate captured in Harrigan Cove

ATV theft, suspicious fire reported in Melrose

By Janice Christie, Local Journalism Initiative reporter    
June 10 2020

HARRIGAN COVE – On June 6th shortly after 9 a.m. a resident of Ecum Secum saw a bearded man matching the description of an escapee from the Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in New Glasgow pass by on an ATV driving along Highway 7, and called 911. It was one of several calls from local residents that helped RCMP apprehend the man.

At 8:27 a.m. that morning, Guysborough RCMP received a report of a suspicious fire, followed by further reports of an ATV on a roadway and a stolen ATV – all within Guysborough County.

A 33-year-old inmate facing assault and attempted murder charges, Kevin Edward Clarke-McNeil, escaped the facility on June 5th prior to 8:30 p.m. RCMP were able to locate and apprehend the man at 9:45 a.m. east of Sheet Harbour, a distance of approximately 100 kms from the correctional facility.

“Through a coordinated effort with RCMP in Halifax District and a short pursuit by police, Clarke-McNeil was apprehended on the MacDonald Cove Road,” said RCMP Sgt. Andrew Joyce in a news release. MacDonald Cove Road is in Harrigan Cove, Halifax County, five minutes west of Moser River.

An emergency alert was issued just before midnight Friday night on behalf of the Department of Justice, which is responsible for the Northeast Nova Correctional Facility, Sgt. Joyce said in the release. 

Residents have expressed concern to The Journal and on social media about the timing and locations of the emergency alert being issued and that cell service is not reliable in the area for receiving such alerts.

RCMP say minor, non-life threatening injuries were incurred by Clarke-McNeil during his apprehension. Images shared on social media and sent to The Journal show an ATV in the ditch with RCMP vehicles surrounding it.

In response to a request from The Journal, Sgt. Joyce said RCMP do not yet know the route the prisoner took to get to Melrose, as the investigation continues. 

The Journal reached out to the Department of Justice with an inquiry regarding what areas were issued an Emergency Alert, but no further details were provided by press time.