Albany escapee captured in Worth County

SYLVESTER, Ga. — A man who escaped from the Albany Transitional Center Saturday by breaking out a bathroom window and climbing down a power pole was caught in Worth County Tuesday.

Worth County Sheriff Freddie Tompkins said that his deputies turned 46-year-old Fontella Brown over to the Georgia Department of Corrections. Brown is probably headed to Wilcox State Prison, officers said.

“He rode a bicycle to his home in Turner County,” Tompkins said. “On Sunday he stayed in a vacant house in Worth County.”

With dozens of law enforcement authorities searching for him with bloodhounds, Brown stole a white Chevrolet pickup, Tompkins said. Taking off in the truck at speeds over 80 mph through Poulan, Brown eventually crashed in woods at about 8 p.m. Monday near Whiddon Mill Road, he added.

“We were concentrating on him and the truck, because it had a 30-30, high-power rifle and another weapon in it,” Tompkins said. “He ran into an isolated woods where we surrounded him.”

Helicopters, bloodhounds and deputies closed in on Brown and he was caught in ripped clothes by 11 p.m., Tompkins said. The sheriff had known Brown for probably 20 years, he added.

“The first time I arrested him and cuffed him behind his back,” Tompkins said, “he started running. It is hard to run handcuffed behind your back but he ran.”

Brown was in custody finishing a sentence for false imprisonment and obstruction charges. He was scheduled to be released from the center, where inmates are prepared to begin again with jobs and places to live, in a few months.

There may have been a woman involved in Brown’s decision to bolt early, Tompkins said. He had a girlfriend years ago in the area where he was caught, Tompkins said as he remembered Brown’s history.

Tompkins said Brown’s future includes prison time for the escape and charges of motor vehicle theft, burglary, traffic charges and probably more.