KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | News, Weather, Sports

Escaped Brazos County Inmate Caught After Daylong Search

By: Meredith Stancik & KBTX Staff Email
By: Meredith Stancik & KBTX Staff Email

An inmate who tried to elude local authorities throughout the day has been captured.

Authorities identify the escapee as Rafael Zamarron Cruz, 64, of Bryan (pictured below). According to the county's judicial website, he had been in jail since January 30 on a number of charges, including driving while intoxicated and driving with an invalid license.

Cruz was reportedly on a work detail at the Brazos County Exposition Complex, off of Leonard Road, when he fled.

"The officer was talking to some other inmates that were in his work crew and he just turned and walked away and was out the door and into the woods," Clyde Collins, Interim Chief of the Brazos County Sheriff's Department said.

Local authorities spent the day combing that area with dogs and officers on horseback, eventually finding the escapee.

"He could have just sat behind a bush and waited till dark, but the dogs moving caused him to move and that's what got him caught," Collins said.

Cruz has been in Brazos County Jail 14 times since 1986 according to the site. He is a native of Anagua, Mexico.

On April 30, Cruz had been sentenced to five years in prison for driving while intoxicated for a third time or more. He also was sentenced to five years for revocation of his probation on a prior DWI charge.

Brazos County Sheriff's officials say Cruz now faces felony escape charges. More charges could follow as a result of his escape. The sheriff's department also says it is investigating the day's events and reviewing its policy regarding work details.

Bryan ISD officials say Jane Long Middle School took precautions as a result of the escape. Spokeswoman Sandy Farris told News 3 that the exits at Long were locked, and students were being kept indoors.

More on this story tonight on News 3 and here at KBTX.com.


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