CIRCLEVILLE — The Circleville Police Department captured an escaped prisoner from Gallia County Monday afternoon.
According to Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin, Richard Clements Jr., 41, of Circleville, escaped from Gallia County Jail along with two other inmates on Sunday at around 5:30 p.m. using force to do so. Those other two inmates have already been captured.
The United States Marshall Service contacted Circleville Police and Circleville Probation requesting assistance in apprehending Clements and believed he was staying at a home located at 140 York St. in Circleville and when they went to the home, they found him. He surrendered without incident after police entered the house.
Both CPD and probation are members of the United State’s Marshal Service Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team. They responded to the house alongside members from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, including a K-9 Deputy to apprehend Clements. Circleville Fire Department was on scene.
“We made entry into the house and as soon as we brought the dog in he gave up,” Sgt. Matthew Hafey said. “He didn’t get bitten.”
Dane Bivens walked across the street Monday and stood with his York Street neighbor Sandra Dearth and watched from her front porch as law enforcement agencies moved in and captured Clements.
Bivens and Dearth said they thought it took about 45 minutes for Clements to surrender to law enforcement peacefully.
“I saw parole officers and three guys pull onto the street and they strapped on vests,” Bivens said as he described the commotion that was going on. “Then the U.S. Marshals and the Pickaway County sheriff arrived.”
Through a megaphone Bivens said he heard “everybody come outside.” Two or three people came out of the house but Clements was not one of them Bivens said. Bivens said that they negotiated for Clements to come out and he heard the negotiator say, “Come out or we’re coming in.”
By this time, the Circleville Fire Department was on the scene and a helicopter was flying overhead.
It wasn’t much longer before law enforcement were bringing Clements from the back of the house, the neighbors said. Dearth said Clements was barefoot and wearing khaki colored shorts and shirt.
Dearth said that the U.S. Marshals advised residents to stay inside.
Neither Bivens nor Dearth were scared of what was happening just a few houses from the their homes, but Dearth said she made sure that her back door was locked.
Clements was in Gallia County Jail awaiting a hearing on felony charges for fleeing and eluding arrest. He’s currently serving four years for seven felonies out of Athens County including charges of theft and burglary.
“It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances that led to us having to work jointly with Circleville Police and Circleville Probation,” Camplin said. “We’re very thankful for the efforts put forth by [the departments] and the relationships that ultimately led to his arrest and keeping the public here and in Circleville safe.”
Champlin believes the escape was premeditated; however the investigation into the escape is ongoing. Clements was transported to the Pickaway County Jail and said that they’ll work with the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office and their court system to determine the logistics of returning him to Gallia County.