Escapee captured Wednesday afternoon

Published 5:38 pm Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Randy Gene Coleman

A Decatur County prison inmate, who escaped from a work detail around mid-day Wednesday, was captured several hours later, according to Sheriff Wiley Griffin.

Shortly after noon, Randy Gene Coleman, 34, of Lafayette, Ga., walked away from a work detail on Swanwall Road, which runs southeast of Brinson for about 2.5 miles.

At about 5 p.m., Coleman was captured coming out of the woods of Swanwall Road, about two miles east of where he had gone missing, Sheriff Griffin said.

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Once Coleman’s escape was reported, Sheriff’s deputies and prison officers immediately canvassed the area and began looking for him. Deputies began stopping cars in the area under the presumption that the inmate might try to catch a ride with someone. Decatur-Grady 911 helped distribute Coleman’s name and physical description.

Soon, search dog teams from the Apalachee Correctional Institute in Sneads, Fla., and the Jackson Correctional Institute in Malone, Fla., were called in to help deputies track Coleman.

Reserve Sheriff’s deputy Jimmy Rentz, who owns farming businesses in Brinson, took Crime Scene Investigator Gale Bowyer up in an airplane to help look for the escapee, Sheriff Griffin said.

Three state troopers from the GSP’s Colquitt, Ga., post and Seminole County Sheriff’s deputies also assisted in the search, Griffin said.

A Georgia State Patrol helicopter was requested but was called off after Coleman was captured.

According to a database maintained by the Georgia Department of Corrections, Coleman has served multiple prison stints since 2001, for convictions on offenses including multiple motor vehicle violations, possession of counterfeit drugs and theft by taking. The convictions were in Walker County, where Coleman is from, and Gordon County, both of which are in northwest Georgia.