Four Ohio prison escapees arrested in North Carolina after Westmoreland County scare | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Four Ohio prison escapees arrested in North Carolina after Westmoreland County scare

Megan Tomasic
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Renatta Signorini | Tribune-Review
Police evacuated the Westmoreland Mall and surrounding businesses in Hempfield on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 29, 2019.
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Westmoreland Mall in Hempfield was evacuated Sunday afternoon after state troopers said escaped Ohio inmate Christopher Clemente, 24, was in the area of the mall around 11 a.m.
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Renatta Signorini | Tribune-Review
Police evacuated the Westmoreland Mall and surrounding restaurants in Hempfield on Sunday afternoon.
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Submitted
Police say Christopher Clemente, an escaped prisoner from an Ohio county jail, was seen on surveillance camers twice in Westmoreland County on Sunday, including at the Westmoreland Mall and at the Sheetz on Route 22 at Route 981.

Four escaped inmates from an Ohio jail were apprehended in Nrth Carolina, according to Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin, including one who had been spotted twice in Westmoreland County.

Brynn K. Martin, Christopher M. Clemente and Troy R. McDaniel Jr. were arrested in Cary, North Carolina, around 2 a.m. Monday, Champlin said in a Facebook post.

The fourth, Lawrence R. Lee III, escaped from officers at the time of the arrests of the other three men. He was captured later Monday morning by local law enforcement officials in Durham, according to Champlin.

“I would like to thank the hard working law enforcement professionals who have tirelessly dedicated themselves to providing an end to the search for these escapees,” Champlin said in a statement.

Cary police are working to see if the men have any connections in the area, officials said during a Monday morning news conference. According to a release on their website, North Carolina Highway Patrol alerted Cary police that the men were in the area of a Red Roof Inn.

After arresting the first three men, who were taken to the Wake County Public Safety Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Westmoreland Mall in Hempfield was evacuated Sunday afternoon after state troopers said Clemente, 24, was in the area of the mall around 11 a.m. after spotting him on a surveillance camera, according to a tweet from state police. He was also seen on surveillance footage at the Sheetz along Route 22 at Route 981 in New Alexandria earlier that morning.

Shoppers and workers inside the mall said a fire alarm sounded at about 12:45 p.m., but they were allowed back in around 2:45 p.m. It was unclear whether the other three inmates were in the Westmoreland Mall area at that time.

Prior to the arrests, Greensburg Salem School District issued a two-hour delay Monday morning.

The four inmates, who were considered dangerous, overpowered two female corrections officers at the Gallia County Jail at 12:14 a.m. Sunday, according to the sheriff there. The inmates had help from at least one person on the outside, authorities said.

According to Champlin, Martin was in jail for breaking and entering, receiving stolen property, two counts of failure to appear and escape; Clemente was charged with indictment for complicity to trafficking in drugs; McDaniel with failure to appear; and Lee was charged with identity fraud, obstructing official business and assault.

“Investigators have worked continuously throughout the day and night since the incident occurred to follow up on tips and develop information which has led to the captures,” Champlin said in the post. “I would like to say a special thanks to all of the agencies who have been instrumental in assisting us in this investigation.”

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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