St. Martin

Oct 20, 2010 7:26 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Business Owners in St. Martinville Worry About Escaped Convict

The St. Martin Parish Jail backs up to one of the busiest roads in town... Main Street....a place where numerous businesses are located. Business owners said they haven't had a scare like this one in more than a decade.
Espinola Quinn, Owner of Nola's Tax Service, said "there is a heightened sense of insecurity here because this is a very small community."
Owner of J's Kuttin' Above the Rest, Jason Willis, said "you never think that a guy could escape and actually get away. I'm still in disbelief that this guy got away and they haven't caught him yet."
Willis' business has been here for 14 years. His clients continue to come in, but these days the talk turns to a killer on the loose.
Willis said, "people at night are probably locking their cars door and their house doors---where as this little town, you've never had to do that."
There are dozens of businesses located right by the jail where Collins escaped. Some business owners said that before this happened, they never thought twice about operating so close to a jail.
Quinn said, "I never thought about it in a negative way. Actually more of a positive way....if I ever needed the police, they were only minutes away."
Quinn said she typically doesn't get spooked very easily.
"I'm not naturally afraid of anything," she said. "I am aware that there is an escaped criminal on the lose....some people are just afraid."
Willis says hopefully when Collins is caught life can get back to normal.
"Every time I take a drive, I see cops on every corner, " he said. "So everyone is on the look out for him."
Unlike Tuesday's massive law enforcement presence in downtown St. Martinville... today there wasn't much going on.
A spokesperson for the sheriff's office tells said their deputies are now following up on tips.

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