Friends Say They're 'Lucky To Be Alive' After Spotting Escaped Murderers In Backyard

06/09/2015 02:28 pm ET | Updated Jun 09, 2015

A man and a woman who said they spotted escapees from a New York prison told ABC News they're "lucky to be alive" after yelling at the convicted murderers to get off the lawn.

David Sweat and Richard Matt escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility late Friday night. They reportedly used power tools to cut through a steam tunnel and climb out of a manhole into the town of Dannemora in upstate New York.

The man and woman, who have not been named for safety reasons, are residents of Dannemora. They say they spotted the escapees at 12:30 a.m. Saturday shortly after they are believed to have emerged from a nearby manhole.

As the two friends returned to the man's house, they saw two men in the backyard. The woman told ABC that the men were wearing dark jeans and that one man was carrying a black guitar case over his shoulder. NY Daily News reports that the two hid their power tools inside a guitar case.

"What the hell are you doing in my yard? Get the hell out of here!" the resident told ABC he yelled at the intruders. He says they replied: "We're just lost. We don't know where we are. We're on the wrong street." The two men took off running.

The Dannemora residents initially had no idea they were facing Matt and Sweat, two convicted murderers. They alerted police of the encounter later that morning, ABC reported.

Sweat had been sentenced to life without parole for killing a sheriff's deputy. Matt was convicted of the kidnapping, murder and dismemberment of a former boss.

“He is the most vicious, evil person I’ve ever come across in 38 years as a police officer," Gabriel DiBernardo, the chief of detectives who investigated Matt for the murder of his boss, told The New York Times.

Shawshank Redemption-style prison break
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