#039;Anyone else wanna run?#039;

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 9, 2004

Two inmates who escaped from the Butler County Jail were both back in the facility as of 5:10 p.m. Wednesday.

At 5:10 p.m., Butler County Sheriff Diane Harris and Jail Administrator Albert McKee walked the last of the two escapees back through the gate at the &uot;red door inn.&uot; Deputies with the Montgomery Sheriff’s Department captured him.

The inmate, Bryan Epps, 29, of Montgomery, was cuffed and chained as he slowly got out of the patrol unit.

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Five hours earlier, she escorted Johnny Lee Patterson, 18, back into the sheriff’s office after nearly 11 hours of freedom.

Sheriff Harris and Fort Deposit Police Chief Gulley captured Patterson on Golson Road.

Patterson and Epps walked out of the jail and scaled the fence at approximately 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Patterson was being held for receiving stolen property, while Epps was arrested for carrying a pistol without a license.

Harris said the men walked out of the building after a car that stopped outside the fence distracted a jailer.

While the jailer’s attention was elsewhere, the two used a sheet to shield them from the razor wire and scaled the fence. Once on the other side, they apparently split up and ran.

Harris reported someone gave Epps a ride to the Waffle House, where witnesses said he left in a purple car.

Others said he left in a white Chevrolet with fire painted on the side.

The canine unit from Holman Prison was called in and the dogs picked up the scent of one of the escapees in the area behind the jail.

As she entered the jail, the sheriff asked for all to hear:

&uot;Anyone else want to run?&uot;

On Wednesday, Harris reported that she fired two jailers who were on duty during the escape but were allegedly sleeping.

A third is likely going to be fired. She said this is another strong indication of the need for a new jail for the county.

To her department’s credit, since taking office in 1995, Harris has only one escapee that remains at large.

Most have been caught within hours of the escape.