K9 captures escaped inmate

Published 8:56 am Friday, June 14, 2019

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It took an escapee from the Davie County Detention some 12 hours to make it a mile or so before he was captured last week.

When caught, Lucio Rodriguez Barboza, 49, had suffered multiple cuts and bruises all over his body.

It was a typical day outside in the recreation area at the jail on Tuesday, June 4, said Davie Sheriff J.D. Hartman. As guards were processing the inmates re-entering the facility, Barboza made his run.

He climbed the first fence, covered with razor wire at the top, pulling away from guards who had him by the legs, Hartman said. He climbed two more fences topped with barbed wire before sprinting toward the woods.

Officers weren’t far behind, but the thick vegetation made it difficult to track, he said. At one point, a helicopter brought in to help in the search was hovering at the tree line, and those in the helicopter couldn’t see the officers directly below them, Hartman said.

The suspect lost his shoes as he entered the woods.

Sheriff’s, Mocksville police, and N.C. Highway Patrol officers as well as six K9 units from the Department of Corrections aided in the search.

The main search was halted around dusk, with increased officer presence in the area, Hartman said.

About 2 a.m., an employee from Ingersoll Rand walked outside and saw the suspect on Sanford Road.

Mocksville Officer Brian Hill and his K9, Wrago, were among the first on the scene. Hill spotted the orange in the edge of the woods, and let Wrago go after the suspect. The K9 found the suspect and kept him at bay until other officers arrived, said Mocksville Police Chief Pat Reagan. “Wrago tracked all the way to the inmate,” Reagan said. “He did his job exactly as he was trained.”

Barboza suffered major cuts to his arms requiring some 24 stitches, and also had a pretty serious head wound, Hartman said. He told officers on the way to the hospital that he had just learned that if convicted, he would spend 24-40 years in prison, and he couldn’t accept that. He was awaiting trial on charges of kidnapping, assault on a female, second-degree rape, second-degree forcible sexual offense and assault on a government official. He had been in custody for 218 days.

Hartman said the suspect is an illegal immigrant and a long-term resident of the country.

Barboza is now being held at Central Prison in Raleigh.