Prison Escapee Recaptured After Trying to Enter School

SC inmate may have escaped in food truck
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 9, 2016 12:03 AM CST
Prison Escapee Recaptured After Trying to Enter School
Police released this surveillance video image of Williamson.   (Columbia Police)

An inmate serving a life sentence who escaped from a maximum-security South Carolina prison and allegedly stabbed a police officer while on the run was recaptured after a locked door stopped him from getting into a school, authorities say. Michael Allen Williamson, 47, was caught at Northside Christian Academy in Lexington at 10:30am Thursday, about 13 hours after the stabbing, investigators say. A parent at a nearby different school saw Williamson dressed in all black with a black stocking mask and told the police officer at the school, the AP reports. Police say Williamson ran from the officer and tried to get inside the school, but the doors were locked. He then sat down on a bench and surrendered without fighting.

Williamson was discovered missing from McCormick Correctional Institution in the western part of the state around 8:50pm Wednesday. Forty minutes later, he was accused of stabbing Columbia police officer Ashley Hardesty, who had been investigating a report of shoplifting in a Walmart, police say. Her protective vest deflected many blows, but Hardesty was treated for two stab wounds to her arm and shoulder and released from the hospital Thursday morning. McCormick Correctional Institution is about 80 miles from the Walmart and the trip is down a number of country roads. Investigators believe Williamson escaped from the prison inside a food delivery truck. It's not clear whether the inmate, who's 19 years into a sentence of life without parole for armed robbery and assault with intent to kill, had any help. (More prison break stories.)

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