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Florida Wildlife Officer
Captures Escaped Prisoner

February 3, 2009

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officer captured an escaped prisoner Tuesday in Punta Gorda, Charlotte County, almost two days after he fled the DeSoto County Jail in Arcadia. Officer Randy Vaughn spotted the convicted sexual predator, considered dangerous by law enforcement authorities, on Burnt Store Road and arrested the man.

Jorge Delgado, 42, escaped the DeSoto County Jail on Sunday night, during a kitchen fire. On Tuesday morning, authorities say, he invaded a home near the jail in Arcadia, held the occupant at knifepoint, tied her up, and stole a truck from the residence. The woman was not seriously injured.
Authorities found the stolen truck that afternoon at the Burnt Store Square in Punta Gorda, at U.S. 41 and Burnt Store Road. The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Highway Patrol participated in the manhunt.

The FWC's Vaughn lives in the area and was about to go on duty at 2 p.m. A friend with the FHP warned him to be on the lookout for Delgado, who apparently had just abandoned the vehicle. Vaughn spotted the escapee approximately four miles south of the shopping center, where the stolen vehicle was found.

"I had been on duty only for about 10 minutes when I saw him walking alongside the road," Vaughn said. "I turned around and came in behind him. He turned around and looked at me and knew he had been caught."

Vaughn reported that Delgado provided a false name but did not attempt to flee or resist arrest.
Delgado was wearing a green T-shirt and white pants when apprehended and carried a pocketknife, CD case and some money.

He was serving time for sexual battery, false imprisonment and lewd and lascivious battery on a child under 16. He is also charged with battery on detention staff. Delgado will face additional charges in connection with his escape, and he may face charges in connection with the reported home invasion and vehicle theft.

"Any day you can get someone like that off the street is a good day," Vaughn said about the apprehension.



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