(UPDATED) Escaped Prisoner; City & County Law Enforcement Cordons Off Buffalo Bayou Now
Update: The 29-year-old escapee was captured about two hours after his escape from Harris County Sheriff's deputies during the booking procedure. Johnathon Richmond was "caught hiding in underbrush on the south bank of Buffalo Bayou at Austin and Commerce Streets about 50 yards from the jail's inmate processing center. After his capture around 7:15 p.m. he was returned to the jail in a patrol vehicle." according to the sheriff's office. More details at the bottom of the story.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office has just sent out an alert that a prisoner who was being booked in to the country jail in downtown Houston, escaped around 5 p.m. today and they are still seeking him.
"Officers are setting up a perimeter that borders Buffalo Bayou, which runs behind the jail booking and releasing center. K9 units are joining the search," according to the sheriff's department statement.
Deputies and officers of the Houston Police Department "are seeking a man who fled from deputies while he was being booked into the county jail near the intersection of Commerce Street and North San Jacinto Street. He fled while wearing handcuffs," according to the SO.
The arrestee, Johnathon Richmond, 29, is African-American, about 6 feet, 1 inch tall and 175 pounds. He was wearing a black shirt.
Richmond fled moments after a deputy removed him from a patrol car.
He had been arrested in Harris County on a larceny warrant issued in Jefferson County.
Anyone with information about his whereabouts should alert officers on the scene or call 911.
Escape charges will be considered against Richmond and the Sheriff's Office will review booking procedures. A Houston Police Department helicopter, Sheriff's Reserve Marine Unit and K9 units helped conduct the search for the inmate.
The airborne HPD crew used thermal detection equipment to identify the escapee's likely location and directed a boat crew and officers on foot to the bankside area.
Among the officers who pulled Richmond from the underbrush at that spot was Lt. Tommy Shelton, a supervisor in the Communications Divison, which includes 911 call-taking and dispatch.
"He had handcuffs on so he couldn't put his hands up," Shelton said of the capture.
Earlier in the day, Richmond had been arrested in Harris County on a larceny warrant issued in Jefferson County.