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Edgecombe Escapee May Face More Charges

Posted January 30, 2007
Updated January 31, 2007

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— Authorities filed numerous charges Tuesday against an Edgecombe County inmate who led them on an afternoon manhunt and may add more charges on Wednesday.

Police said Austin Reid Pittman, 26, escaped while receiving medical treatment at a hospital. They apprehended him following a search of farms and woods in southeastern Wilson County, near the Edgecombe and Wilson county line. The state Highway Patrol helicopter and K-9 units assisted in the search.

Pittman will likely face several new charges for his escape attempt, including reckless driving, flee to elude arrest, driving with a revoked license, probation violation and possession of a stolen vehicle, Edgecombe County Sheriff James Knight said.

Knight said Pittman was being held in the Edgecombe County Detention Center pending an April court appearance on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He had been taken from the jail to Pitt Memorial Hospital earlier in the day and escaped from a detention officer.

Pittman was allowed to go the restroom and eluded the detention officer, Knight said. He was able to get into a work area and to steal a van belonging to a painting company that was working at the hospital, Knight said.

Authorities from Pitt, Nash and Edgecombe counties, the state Highway Patrol and officers from Rocky Mount, Pinetops and Sharpsburg chased Pittman from Greenville to Rocky Mount to Tarboro to Pinetops and Macclesfield.

The van was found abandoned late Tuesday afternoon at the edge of some woods west of the Pitt County town of Fountain. Authorities continued their pursuit on foot and apprehended Pittman about a mile and a half away.

Pittman was one of two men charged two years ago with a series of car break-ins in Wake, Wilson and Edgecombe counties.

Knight said the deputies guarding Austin Pittman were being questioned about the escape.
12 Comments

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  • cp58040 Jan 31, 2007

    Before you all go lashing out about how inmates should not be treated in a hospital or doctors office, think about 1 thing...inmates have families, too. I dare to say that if any of you had a family member that was ill and in custody at any type of corrections facility, you would feel a lot differently about this matter. What he did was not right by any means. No, he shouldn't have stolen the van or sent cops on a day-long chase, but if someone needs medical treatment it is only ethical to provide them of that service.

  • gratefultoGOD Jan 31, 2007

    I AGREE WITH THE MAJORITY OF YOU ALL. MY HUSBAND AND I BOTH ARE COLLEGE GRADUATES. WE ARE UPPER MIDDLE CLASS (PER SAY) AND HEALTH CARE IS A BIG CHUNK FOR US EACH MONTH FOR A FAMILY OF 5! WE COULD HAVE A NEW CAR FOR THE AMOUNT WE PAY. RIDICULIOUS! THESE GUYS DO NOT DESERVE ANY THING BETTER THAN WHAT THE WORKING MAN CAN AFFORD. BREAK LAWS LOSE RIGHTS... ALL RIGHTS!! ALL PRIVILAGES!!!

  • slugolicious Jan 31, 2007

    "So what do you pay for health insurance premiums?"

    My freedom.

    When this guy abandoned the van, why didn't he swing by a gas station? People are always going inside to pay for gas and leaving their keys (and kids) in the vehicle.

  • doinbizzness Jan 31, 2007

    He should have neede another trip to the hospital after he was caught. these cops should have beat the snot out of this punk.and did you notice the smile he had on his face as he was arrested? i hope the judge sees the little smirk and whipes it off of his face

  • slappyh99 Jan 31, 2007

    Take it easy NCDOC guys. People do appreciate the job you do. Being in law enforcement for over 20 years I’ll be the first to say thank you. But be careful with your comments. People also escape from NCDOC custody. There have been several in recent years. Check the NCDOC website for a list of escapees. Escape has always been and will always be a possibility when transporting inmates whether it’s done by NCDOC, federal, state, or local agencies.

  • browneyedgirl Jan 31, 2007

    They are prisoners. Unless they are about to die, let them tough it out. I can't even afford to go to the doctors when I need to.

  • What The Deuce Jan 31, 2007

    So if you want free health care you either have to be an border jumping alien or a convicted felon! Got it. So what do you pay for health insurance premiums?

  • Fence Straddler Jan 31, 2007

    This man could have caused more trouble than a chase.
    I'm glad to see he was caught.

    To the Law Enforcement Officers involved in the capture:
    GREAT JOB!!!

  • joyceknox707 Jan 31, 2007

    I THINK THAT THESE PEOPLE HAS THE RIGHT TO GO TO A DR. OR THE HOSPATIL IF THEY ARE SICK JUST LIKE ANY OTHER PERSON.
    THE LAW SHOULD HAVE HAD HIS HANDS IN HANDCUFFS. THATS WHAT I THINK.

  • 2AMANDA2 Jan 30, 2007

    i work for NCDOC and i agree with you. keep in mind, he was in county custody, not DOC. they don't always do things like we do, but we get less respect.

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