Suspected Ohio rapist escapes police custody, armed and dangerous

Local News

A nationwide manhunt for a suspected rapist is ramping up.  

Police in Paulding County, Ohio say the inmate fought with a Sheriff’s Deputy, overpowered him, and escaped with his gun.

32 year old Branden Powell pulled off a dramatic escape, becoming a fugitive.  He is considered extremely dangerous and armed with a Deputy’s gun.  

Sheriff Jason K. Landers, says, “He does have a 40 caliber pistol, he has two extra magazines, he has about 30 rounds of ammunition.”

The suspected rapist got away on Friday while being transferred from a psychiatric hospital in Ohio after being treated for injuries from a suicide attempt while in jail.

Powell was shackled at the hands, waist and feet, but while inside the Police vehicle, he jumped over the seat and put the Deputy in a headlock, crashing the vehicle.  He then took the officer’s weapon and forced the officer to undo his shackles.  Then, he handcuffed the Deputy to the steering wheel.  

Powell then disabled the radio and car before running away with the Deputy’s cell phone, wallet, and ammo.

Sheriff Landers warned, “You don’t take a pistol from one of my deputies and threaten him with it. He’s going to be held accountable.”

US Marshals and the FBI joined the manhunt over the weekend.  Residents are warned to stay alert.

The injured Deputy suffered minor injuries and the Sheriff says he is angry this happened, but changes are now being implemented to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

–Elizabeth Hur, ABC NEWS, New York


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