PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WRBL) – Phenix City Police officers assisted a U.S. Marshals Task Force to arrest an escaped prisoner from Crenshaw County Correctional Facility and return him to custody.
Police said in a statement that the escaped prisoner, Brandon W. Richards, 28, had escaped custody on Nov. 4 and was seen in the Columbus, Ga./Phenix City, Ala. area at different parts of the day. Richards was allegedly assisted in his escape by his girlfriend, Haley Petty, 21.
The Task Force was able to track both individuals down to a location officials say would pose the least amount of danger to the public. Richards had told family that “he would not go back to prison, the police would have to kill him first,” police say.
The suspects were reportedly traveling in a Chevrolet Trax, which pulled up to the gas pumps at the Walmart Neighborhood Store on US 80 West.
Agents chose this spot to take them into custody there, as it was the least populated area. Officials say that as the agents moved in, Petty, who was driving, tried to escape by ramming the agents’ vehicle, then left driving recklessly at a high speed through the Walmart parking lot, ignoring the safety of bystanders and other drivers.
Police say the vehicle reached speeds over 60 miles per hour at one point. Agents then maneuvered their vehicles between the suspects and pedestrians and directed the suspects into a nearby field, where they were both taken into custody.
No injuries were reported from the incident. Richards had been in custody at Crenshaw for robbery and kidnapping. Following his escape, he was wanted for Escape, First Degree, and interfering with child custody.
Richards will now face charges for Assault, First Degree; Felony Attempting to Elude; Criminal Mischief, First Degree; and reckless endangerment.
Petty was wanted for Felony Aiding in Escape; Theft of Property, First Degree; and interfering with child custody. Additional charges will be obtained for Felony Attempting to Elude; Criminal Mischief, First Degree; and Reckless Endangerment.