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Girlfriend: Wake County inmate escaped to be with her following hospital stay

Authorities captured a Wake County Correctional inmate in North Raleigh early Thursday morning near his girlfriend's apartment about two hours after he used a mop to jump a fence and escaped from the facility.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Authorities captured a Wake Correctional Center inmate in north Raleigh early Thursday morning near his girlfriend's apartment, about two hours after he used a mop to jump a fence and escaped from the facility.

Keith Bradley, 38, a minimum-custody inmate, was serving a sentence of almost three years for possession of a firearm by a felon and several drug-related convictions, officials said. Corrections and law enforcement officers reported him missing from the Rock Quarry Road facility around 12:15 a.m.

Bradley was working as a night janitor when he escaped, said Keith Acree, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. Officials said Bradley used a mop to help jump a fence.

"(Officers) noticed the razor wire at a certain section in the fence had been mashed down. It appeared that someone had gone over the fence," Acree said. "They noticed a mop laying on the ground there at the bottom of that spot.

"So, it appears he used the mop to help himself over the fence."

Raleigh police tracked Bradley into a wooded area off Newton Road and Bryn-Athyn Way, where an officer saw him running across a street. Officers then set up a perimeter and used a police K-9 to track Bradley down around 2:30 a.m.

Bradley's girlfriend, Vanessa Williams, who had recently been released from a week-long hospital stay, said he took a cab to her north Raleigh apartment and knocked on her window. She said he called his mother in Georgia and that his mother notified authorities.

Bradley was captured near the apartment complex. The Wake Correctional Center is at least 8 miles from where Bradley was found.

Williams said Bradley had told her about wanting to escape, but she never thought he was serious. She said she urged him to turn himself in instead of running.

Officials said Bradley had minor cuts from going over the razor wire on the fence. Bradley was treated by EMS before being taken to a more secure prison, Acree said.

"They have got a lot to lose by doing something like trying an escape," Acree said. "That's why most of them are here, is the fact that they do have so much to lose if they do something wrong."

Acree said escape charges for Bradley are pending.

Bradley was scheduled to be released in August 2017.


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