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BCCI inmate captured in Evans County

Grimes faces numerous felony charges

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Posted: February 22, 2008 12:13 p.m.
Updated: February 23, 2008 5:00 a.m.
BCCI inmate captured in Evans County

Alexander Grimes


   A team of law enforcement officers captured a man Friday morning investigators said used a screwdriver Thursday to kidnap a corrections officer and four other inmates, hijack a truck and head to Claxton.
     Bulloch County Sheriff's Capt. Todd Hutchens said law enforcement agents from numerous agencies worked together to search throughout the night for Alexander Grimes, 28, Glennville.
    Last seen around Church Street in Claxton, Grimes fled the scene and was at large throughout the night while officers with several area agencies formed a perimeter and searched for him, he said.
    Around 5 a.m. Friday, officers spotted Grimes and a chase ensued, ending around 11:30 a.m. Friday when he was taken into custody.
    Grimes was on a Bulloch County Correctional Institute work detail Thursday afternoon on  Ga. 25 near Womack Road East around 3 p.m. when he grabbed a screwdriver from the  truck and held it against the unidentified correctional officer's neck, said BCCI Warden Billy Tompkins.
    He forced the officer into the truck with four other inmates, who did not get involved in the incident and "stayed out of the way" as the event unfolded, Hutchens said.
    Tompkins said Grimes forced the correctional officer, who is employed by Bulloch County Public Works, not the correctional institute, to lay his head in Grimes' lap while he held the screwdriver to his neck, then drove the work truck to Claxton, an area with which he was familiar.
    When Grimes dropped a radio, the officer took the opportunity to grab the screwdriver and throw it out the window, he said.  That's when Grimes fled.
    After being spotted around 5 a.m., Grimes evaded officers for over six hours, prompting  a chase in rainy weather, until he was apprehended " a block from where he (originally) ran from," Hutchens said. Evans County Sheriff's officials were key in the capture, he said. "Evans County did a jam-up job."
    Tompkins, who was also on the scene during the ordeal, agreed, praising all of the agencies that helped in the manhunt.
    Those included the "Evans and Bulloch County Sheriff's Departments, the warden and staff from the Smith State Prison and Southeast Probation Detention Center, the staff from the Georgia State Prison and Rogers State Prison, the Georgia State Prison K9 Unit, Evans County Fire Department, Claxton Police, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia State Patrol, U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Squad, Bulloch County Public Works, Road Department, Mechanical shop and Environmental staff, the BCCI staff, the Department of Public Safety Motor Carrier Compliance and the Department of Natural Resources," he said.
    Tompkins also said he was impressed with the correctional officer's behavior in handling the situation.
    "I am very proud of the officer taken hostage, and t he way he conducted himself," he said. "He kept a very dangerous situation from getting worse."
    Evans County deputies located Grimes around 5 a.m. Friday and pursued him in rainy weather for hours, capturing him around 11:30 a.m. "about a block from where he ran to begin with," Hutchens said.
    Bulloch County Sheriff's Inv. Jared Akins charged Grimes Friday with 17 counts: aggravated assault, violence in confinement, felony escape, five counts of terroristic threats; hijacking a motor vehicle, theft by taking a motor vehicle, armed robbery, interference with government property, and five counts of kidnapping.
    Grimes was transported to the Reidsville State Prison, and faces additional charges by GBI agents for crimes occurring in Evans County, Akins said.
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