Man Matching Description of Escapee Causes Manhunt in College Station-False Alarm

By: Mike George Email
By: Mike George Email

For three hours in College Station police from all Brazos County law enforcement agencies were searching for a man matching the description of prison escapee Arcade Comeaux. It turns out the man witnesses thought was Comeaux, was not. Police and News 3 reporters describe the man as a "dead ringer" for Comeaux.

The search began about 9AM Tuesday after witnesses called police about a man on a bike who matched the description of the TDCJ escapee. From then until 11:45AM police combed the area looking for the suspect. Dogs from TDCJ were brought in to help in the hunt. College Hills Elementary School was in lock down. Police searched an area from University Drive to almost Harvey Road and Lincoln to Texas Avenue looking for the suspect.

Just before noon police found the man they were looking for; a College Station resident and not an escapee. The Comeaux look a like was then let go.

In the meantime the real Arcade Joseph Comeaux is still on the loose. While there is no indication he is in Bryan-College Station a statewide search continues.

Throughout Tuesday afternoon similar reports of men matching the description of Comeaux have been called into police keeping them busy following up on the calls.

Here's Comeaux's criminal history and how he escaped Monday morning.

BAYTOWN, Texas -- Authorities are looking for a Texas prison inmate they say temporarily took two prison officers hostage while being transferred to another prison, then escaped on foot east of Houston.

Officials say Arcade Joseph Comeaux was being taken Monday from a prison facility in Huntsville to one in Beaumont when he brandished a firearm.

The 49-year-old inmate disarmed the officers and handcuffed them together in the back of the prison van before fleeing on foot in the Baytown area. The officers were found Monday morning unharmed.

Officials believe Comeaux is wearing one of the officer's gray uniforms.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Comeaux is serving a life sentence for convictions in Fort Bend County of indecency with a child, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

KBTX NOTE: Comeaux was arrested in January 1998 in Brazos County, accused of aggravated sexual assault of a child. He was convicted and given a life sentence.

The following is a press release from TDCJ concerning the incident:

Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials are searching for an inmate who took two transport officers hostage Monday morning before fleeing the vehicle on foot in the Baytown area.

Arcade Joseph Comeaux Jr., 49, is described as a black male, standing 6-feet tall and weighing 200 pounds. He is serving a life sentence for indecency with a child out of Harris County, aggravated sexual assault out of Brazos County and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon out of Fort Bend County.

Preliminary reports are that Comeaux was being transported from the Estelle Unit in Huntsville to the Stiles Unit in Beaumont when he brandished a firearm and directed the officers to stop the vehicle. He took the officers' weapons and apparently handcuffed them together in the back of the transport vehicle before fleeing on foot in the Baytown area.

The officers were located by law enforcement officers at approximately 10 a.m. and were unharmed.

Comeaux did flee with the officers' weapons and was wearing one of the officer's uniforms. He is believed then to be wearing a grey correctional officer's uniform and black boots. He should be considered dangerous - anyone who believes they have seen Comeaux should call 911 or their local law enforcement officers.

KBTX-TV Channel 3 4141 E. 29th Street Bryan, TX 77802 Phone: (979) 846-7777 Fax: (979) 846-1490 News Fax: (979) 846-1888
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