Escaped inmate found drinking Gatorade in park

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (Citizen-Times) -- While drinking a Gatorade, an escaped inmate who eluded police overnight in South Asheville was captured Thursday morning.

Michael Lee Calloway was apprehended about 9:44 a.m. when he was spotted sitting outside a doctor's office in Biltmore Park, Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan told reporters just minutes after Calloway was apprehended.

Police believe he stayed within a 4-mile radius of a Biltmore Forest medical office, where he escaped custody Wednesday afternoon.

As many as 100 officers from multiple agencies were on duty during the search, Duncan said.

"We did everything from flying a drone with infrared to doing some house-to-house checks last night," he said. "I think it gave him very limited ability and limited opportunity to get in and even find a vehicle to get him out of the area."

When he escaped about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Calloway was near the area of 1117 Hendersonville Road in Asheville for a medical appointment. Duncan said he was there to undergo "some sort of procedure" and officers had removed shackles and other restraints.

Calloway is accused of assaulting an officer by grabbing her head and trying to hit her head on the ground before fleeing.

Duncan told reporters that police received dozens of calls during the search. They believe a reported sighting of Calloway at 3 p.m. Wednesday, about a mile from U.S. 25 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Mountains-To-Sea Trail, is credible.

It's unclear whether Calloway knew he was outside of a doctor's office when he was captured, Duncan said. He was spotted by Biltmore Park security.

"The public was very vigilant," Duncan said. "When you have somebody with this criminal history, that's exactly what we want."

Calloway was arrested in May and September and was charged with being a habitual felon, according to online sheriff's records. Additional charges were listed, including larceny of a motor vehicle and breaking and entering, both felonies.

He was scheduled to appear in court next year.

Schools in the Roberson District in South Asheville, including Roberson High, were on temporary lockdown Wednesday afternoon. It was lifted about 3:20 p.m.

The schools planned for an increased law enforcement presence early Thursday before Calloway was captured. 

Calloway's criminal record is extensive, including assault, driving while impaired, breaking and entering, robbery with a dangerous weapon, hit and run and defrauding an innkeeper. 

Listed among several 2003 offenses was assaulting emergency personnel. He also escaped from prison in July 2014 and was later caught and convicted, according to criminal records.

Public records show Calloway has listed addresses in Asheville, Weaverville and in Rowan County, just north of Charlotte.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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