Four men who escaped custody in Adams County at the beginning of this week were nabbed Wednesday and Thursday in Venice, Fla. after several days on the lam.
Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera told The Times-Gazette that Christopher William Tolle, 30, Peebles; Randy Knight, 27, Manchester; Dustin Sowards, 30, Peebles; and Chasen Tyler Young, 18, Wilmington, were apprehended in Florida after they left the Adams County Work Release Center in the late evening hours of Sunday, Nov. 4.
“They were low-risk inmates was my understanding,” Barrera said of the escapees.
During the manhunt, Barrera said, deputies with the Highland County Sheriff’s Office found some of the inmates’ belongings at an outbuilding on SR 73 in Highland County near Adams County.
“We got the owner to give us permission to enter the building and we found their jail uniforms there,” Barrera said.
Barrera said Highland County detectives worked with Fayette County authorities to retrieve cellphone data related to the inmates, and that was when Venice became a location of interest.
“We found some locations, and one of them was in Venice Beach, Florida,” Barrera said.
Venice is located south of Sarasota on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Barrera said Knight, Sowards and Young were apprehended there Wednesday night, and Tolle was captured there Thursday.
Knight, Sowards and Young are listed as incarcerated in the Sarasota County Jail. A spokeswoman for the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said Tolle may not have been fully booked into jail early Thursday afternoon.
Barrera said the fugitives will be extradited to Adams County in coming days and likely face prison time.
“Thankfully, they’re back in custody and will be making their way back to the Adam’s County Sheriff’s Office in a few short days,” Barrera said.
According to Barrera, the Highland County Sheriff’s Office cooperated with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service to assist the Adams County Sheriff’s Office in apprehending the escapees.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570.