DOC: Inmate escapes work facility, later arrested

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say an inmate has been captured after kidnapping a correctional officer while out on a work detail in central Florida.

The Lakeland Ledger reports that the inmate, along with four others, was working at a Bartow park Wednesday when one overpowered the guard.

Bartow police Sgt. Eric Sherrouse says the guard wasn’t armed and only had pepper spray on him. Police say the inmate stole a city of Bartow van, forced the corrections officer inside and took off to St. Petersburg.

Officers there spotted the van, and a short pursuit ensued before the inmate was taken into custody. The kidnapped officer was not injured.

When officials arrived at the escape scene, the other four inmates were waiting, unguarded.

The inmates and correctional officer haven’t been named.

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