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Man escapes custody in Cumberland County; found in mobile home

Posted February 19, 2012
Updated February 20, 2012

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— A Cumberland County man arrested for first-degree burglary last week escaped from his room at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Saturday night, officials with the sheriff's department said.

According to deputies, Patrick Earl Gaston, 27, escaped a Cumberland County detention officer who was guarding his room around 6 p.m. Saturday. He was found several hours later hiding in a closet in an abandoned mobile home in Harnett County, authorities said. 

Gaston, of 6001 Murphy Road in Stedman, was taken to the hospital last week following his arrest after he claimed to have swallowed an unknown amount of cocaine and began vomiting. 

Authorities said Gaston was returned to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center early Sunday and will remain under strict supervision. 

In 2009, Gaston fought sheriff's deputies, bit an ambulance worker's thumb and damaged a hotel room and county vehicles after being arrested for larceny and possession of stolen goods.

In the previous incident, Gaston was also taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center after claiming to have swallowed cocaine.


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  • beth22 Feb 20, 2012

    This little fella may want to find a new line of work...obviously, he's not a very successful criminal.

  • jwood011 Feb 20, 2012

    Why would they take him back to the hospital? It's pretty obvious that nothing's wrong with him if he escaped and made it all the way to Harnett County - he should have gone straight to jail when they found him.

  • carroln Feb 20, 2012

    there again cumberland county sherriffs dept has alot to be desired. Should have left him alone and let him put an end to

  • ligonmaterial23 Feb 20, 2012

    Someones in trouble ....

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 20, 2012

    Would it really be a bad thing to just leave this man in jail after he "claimed to have swallowed cocaine"?

    He surely intended to harm himself, so who are we to get in the way? ...same for prisoners who cut themselves, hang themselves or drink Drano.

    Of course, I think consenting adults should be free to do whatever they want to their own bodies.

  • piene2 Feb 20, 2012

    What wonderful security !

  • piene2 Feb 20, 2012

    Nice security dudes!