UPDATE: Jail escapee caught in Georgia is now back in Hamilton C - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Jail escapee caught in Georgia is now back in Hamilton County

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Dustin Adams mugshot after his capture. Dustin Adams mugshot after his capture.
Deputies taking Lafollette back to the Hamilton County Jail. Deputies taking Lafollette back to the Hamilton County Jail.
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The second Hamilton County jail escapee is now back in the area.

Dustin Adams was captured earlier this month in Fannin County, Georgia. Adams is expected to be in court on September 26th.

Adams is being housed in the Special Management Unit (SMU). Hamilton County Sheriff's Office says Adams will be classified with up to date information, to include his recent escape and all subsequent charges, to include all out of county and out state holds, to determine appropriate housing. 


UPDATE: The Hamilton County inmate on the loose since Monday is back behind bars. Deputies in North Georgia arrested Dustin Adams late Wednesday night after a traffic stop. He and Dylon Lafollette got away from the jail early Monday morning. Lafollette was captured hours after the escape in North Chattanooga, but Adams remained elusive until a crime spree in two quiet communities pointed to him.

It is unclear how Dustin Adams made his way to Polk County, but agencies across the area are happy to have him back behind bars.

Three days on the run, and 77 miles away from the Hamilton County Jail, Dustin Adams was captured by Fannin County Sheriff's deputies just over the border from Polk County.  “His family is in our area, the Copper Hill area. We started following on leads, checking with family and the residence,” said Polk County Sheriff Steve Ross.

Officers believe as soon as he made his way to Polk County, he met an accomplice. “Someone brought him to McCaysville, dropped him off at the bank, had stolen a credit card and withdrew money from an ATM,” said McCaysville Police Chief Mike Earley.

Officials said his next move was breaking into vehicles. Sheriff Ross said 12 cars were broken into Tuesday night. “We don't have that usually so we started an investigation.”

Surveillance video at a local bank was confirmation Adams was in fact in the area and officers linked the fugitive to the car break ins. “He went on a rampage, broke into several vehicles in Polk County, broke into several in Fannin County,” said Chief Earley.

The U.S. Marshals and multiple agencies issued an area wide search for the inmate, stopping all cars until they found their guy. Chief Earley is thankful the hunt is over, and his small city can return to life as normal. “He put a lot of people in fear, had us on edge. We didn't know what his intention was. Glad he was apprehended and everything was peaceful.”

Dustin Adams is currently in the Fannin County Jail.

He will eventually be transported back to Hamilton County.


UPDATE: The second escapee from the Hamilton County Jail has been captured in Fannin County, Georgia, late last night.

Working together, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Fugitive & Narcotics Divisions, Chattanooga Police Department Fugitive Division, The U.S. Marshal Service, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Polk County Sheriff's Office, Fannin County Georgia Sheriff's Office, and McCaysville Georgia Police Department all assisted in the arrest of escapee Dustin Lee Adams.

Adams is currently in custody and being held in Fannin County, Georgia. He will eventually be transported back to the Hamilton County Jail.


PREVIOUS STORY: A search is underway for an inmate accused of breaking a window on the second floor of the Hamilton County Jail. Two inmates escaped from the jail early Monday morning.

Dylon Lafollette was captured Monday afternoon. He had been jailed on charges of theft of property and criminal conspiracy. But Dustin Adams, who had been jailed for possession of a firearm, theft, and burglary, is still on the loose.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said Adams is not considered dangerous or a threat to the public, but nonetheless they are doing everything they can to get him back behind bars.

The hunt for Dustin Adams entered a second day, while questions remain over how the duo managed their escape. “No wonder you have inmates constantly trying to plot how can I get out of this,” said Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond.

Guards realized the inmates were missing during an early morning head count. “Managed to get the bolts loose, pry open the windows, broke the windows and out they went.” Sheriff Hammond believes the fugitives spent days coming up with an escape plan. “Take a piece of metal they got from some part of the building, made an old fashion tooled, worked at it for probably an extensive amount of time.”

Multiple agencies are involved in the search— but so far the trail has been cold. “A lot of territory, lot of alleys and buildings to cover. Chattanooga is assisting us and other jurisdictions. Comprehensive search.”

Sheriff Hammond wants to get to the bottom of how the inmates managed to escape, “look at their records, where they live, where their girlfriends live, where there mommas live.”

While officers don't believe Adams is a threat to the community, they warn everyone to be on the lookout. “Watch where you are, keep doors locked, make sure if you see anything suspicious call law enforcement immediately.”

He pledged they will not stop until Adams is back behind bars. “It may be 20 years till he gets picked up. His escape will be logged in the NCIC. Speed over the limit or get a ticket, he will be looking over his shoulder long as he is out there.”

If you have any idea where Dustin Adams may be, call the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office at (423) 209-7000. 


PREVIOUS STORY:  Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond called the second floor where Lafollette and Adams escaped as a "minimum security" and said the two men used a piece of metal they obtained from somewhere in the jail to remove the screws that held the cage over the windows.

They two may have worked on opening the window for some time" before they successfully escaped. Their absence was caught during a required head count of the some 600 inmates at the Hamilton County jail.

Hammond called the building "old" and that he's asked for a new jail for some time.


PREVIOUS STORY: Police have captured inmate Dylon Lafollette who escaped early Monday from the Hamilton County Jail.

A spokesman for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said Lafollette and Dustin Lee Adams escaped from the second floor of the jail by breaking a window and removing the screws holding the security screen.

Both men are facing several charges including theft.

Adams was jailed for:

  • Possession of a firearm  
  • Burglary
  • Theft of property
  • Theft of property
  • Theft of property (over $10,000)
  • Theft of property (Auto)

Lafollette was jailed for:

  • Theft of property (over $10,000)
  • Criminal Conspiracy  

They were housed on the second floor because the sheriff's office said they were considered "low-risk inmates."

After noticing the incident, jail personnel immediately notified HCSO deputies and the Chattanooga Police Department. 

Lafollette was spotted by the Walgreens on Market Street, where he bought a pair of sweatpants and sunglasses and paid for them using change.

Just after Lafollette left the store witnesses said they saw him running through the parking lot of the post office.

"As I peek through the window, I saw a guy on foot running up the little grassy area right here and right behind him was a cop car," Christine Salyards, a witness said.

Christine Salyards said she was eating breakfast with her son as police surrounded her home.

"Literally the cop car just jumped into the grass. Guy turned around and threw his hands up in the air, cop got out with his gun and before I knew it a dozen cop cars swarmed the street," Salyards said.

Deputies believe the other inmate, Dustin Adams, may have injured himself in the escape and may potentially seek medical attention.

Officials said Lafollette is back in the Hamilton County Jail and will be charged with escape.

A number of questions still remain about how this happened, when jailers noticed the duo was gone, and if the escape had been planned well in advance.

Channel 3 took those questions to the sheriff's office and was told by a spokesman they wouldn't be answered until Tuesday.

There are several rules and guidelines listed by the Tennessee Corrections Institute that describe the procedures jail personnel need to follow. These include logging when an escape or attempted escape happens.

Questions related to those procedures also couldn't be answered by the sheriff's office on Monday.

Officials said an escape hasn't happened at the jail in more than 15 years.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Dustin Adams, call the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.


PREVIOUS STORY: The two inmates were being held on the second floor which is typically used to house minimum security (low-risk) inmates. At this time, there is no belief that either inmate poses an immediate danger to the general public.

The two inmates who escaped were Dustin Lee Adams and Dylon Lafollette.

Adams was jailed for:

  • Possession of a firearm  
  • Burglary
  • Theft of property
  • Theft of property
  • Theft of property (over $10,000)
  • Theft of property (Auto)

Lafollette was jailed for:

  • Theft of property (over $10,000)
  • Criminal Conspiracy  

Anyone with any information as to the whereabouts of these two individuals should contact 911 immediately.
 

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