Escaped inmate caught after pursuit
An escaped inmate had downtown Dahlonega on alert for a couple of hours Friday afternoon after a jump suit-clad James Dowdy Jr. reportedly gave authorities the slip during a routine transport at the Lumpkin County Detention Center.
The hand-cuffed 31-year-old Dahlonega resident fled into the woods behind the jail just after 3 p.m.
“He crossed over Turner Street and into the woods when we lost visual,” said Lt. Alan Roach of the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office.
Dowdy was able to escape while being transported from the criminal investigation side of the sheriff's office building by pushing his way through a sally port door before it completely sealed, said Sheriff Stacy Jarrard.
“Then he ran and jumped off the bank behind the jail,” he said.
Deputies immediately set up a perimeter in the area and radioed for the Georgia State Patrol helicopter which was already in the area in preparation for the Rainbow Gathering in the Bull Mountain area.
A couple hours later tracking dogs out of Alto were able to pick up the scent of the inmate who was apparently flushed out of hiding in the kudzu filled stretch behind the jail.
“He tried to strong arm and steal a cell phone from someone passing by,” said Jarrard. “The officers saw this going on and stopped it.”
Dowdy was ultimately captured on Johnson Street, about 200 yards behind the detention center.
No one was injured in the escape or resulting arrest.
Dowdy was originally in the detention center for drug and theft related charges. He now faces an additional charge of escape.
More charges could follow, said Roach.