An inmate being transported Tuesday morning to the Warren County Courthouse made a mad dash for freedom, but was captured about five blocks away at a nearby apartment.
Timothy Gay, who is in jail on violent charges including aggravated assault and aggravated robbery, was caught about 45 minutes after he escaped. He will face additional charges of escape and evading arrest, according to Sheriff Jackie Matheny.
Officers swarmed downtown McMinnville on Tuesday morning after Gay decided to flee from a van which was transporting him to the courthouse. Gay, 30, was able to free himself from his leg shackles but was still in handcuffs. One eyewitness at a business on Court Square described him as “running like a deer.”
When an out-of-breath officer could be heard yelling over the scanner, “He’s running down Main Street,” it prompted a full-scale response from Warren County Sheriff’s Department and McMinnville Police Department.
Gay reportedly made a brief dash down Main Street, cut between Park Theatre and Citizens Tri-County Bank, and headed toward the Blue Building.
He was spotted by an eyewitness running down an alley between a small apartment complex and The Black House. He was then seen running up the back stairs and into the apartment complex, Colville Street Apartments, which has four units.
“He was seen running in there, but no one saw him running out,” said Sheriff Matheny.
Officers kicked in the door to an upstairs apartment and searched it before turning their attention to two units on the ground floor. Gay was found in a bedroom of one of the apartments on the first floor.
“He apparently knew the woman who lived there and she saw him through the peep hole,” said Matheny. “When she opened the door, he forced his way in. When we found him, he threw up his hands and gave himself up.”
By that time, Gay had gotten out of his handcuffs and changed from his orange jump suit into street clothes.
“He used a bobby pin to get out of his leg shackles,” said Matheny. “We found the bobby pin and I couldn’t tell you how he did it. I know I couldn’t do it. He used the same pin to pick the lock of his handcuffs.”
Matheny says the brief escape will add more jail time to sentences Gay is already facing. He is accused of holding a knife to his girlfriend after she refused to have sex with him. He also faces a violation of probation charge.