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Prisoner in custody days after escaping in Howard County

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HOWARD COUNTY, MD -- UPDATE: Police capture escaped prisoner David Watson in Jessup

A Howard County police tactical team captured escaped prisoner David Watson last night in a wooded area off of Dorsey Run Road in Jessup after a six-day search effort.

Authorities expanded the ground search yesterday after police received a report of a possible sighting. A local employee called 911 around 9:30 a.m. after spotting a man near the railroad tracks behind a building in the 8200 block of Dorsey Run Road. The caller reported that the man was wearing a white hard hat and a safety vest and ran when he was spotted. Authorities believed the man was Watson, who had escaped from the grounds of Clifton T. Perkins Hospital while on a transport in the custody of Wicomico County Detention Center guards on April 28. Police are in contact with the caller, who will be eligible for a reward.

With the assistance of multiple jurisdictions, police searched throughout the day with helicopters, bloodhounds, K9s, and teams of officers. Around 9:40 p.m., tactical officers were rechecking terrain, including a small drainage pipe, approximately 18-20 inches wide, a few hundred yards from the morning's sighting. Although the pipe had been confirmed empty earlier in the day, officers with night vision equipment rechecked

the area after dark. They found Watson lying inside, attempting to hide. He was taken into custody in good condition and suffered minor scrapes and injuries during his time in the woods.

After being arrested last night, Watson was taken to Howard County Central Booking and charged with escape and assault. He will be transferred in a maximum-security transport to the correctional facility in Delaware where he is currently serving a sentence of more than 100 years. Investigators believe Watson did not plan the escape in advance or receive outside assistance.

Search teams have determined that Watson continued moving throughout the six days he was on the run. There are indications that he had traveled a distance of at least a mile in different directions, according to bloodhound trails on various days and the location of the break-in where a vest and hard hat were stolen.

Stay with DCW50 for any updates.

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