It was a Hancock County sheriff’s deputy and his K-9 partner who tracked down an escaped Wood County prisoner Wednesday.
According to a report from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Tom Miller and his K-9, Sonny, joined the search after the Wood County Sheriff’s Office reported that Franklin Paul Damon Jr., 39, of Toledo, walked off of a work-release job site. Damon had been working at a location along South Dixie Highway, near Portage, and left the job at about 4:21 p.m. Wednesday.
Damon is an inmate at the Northwest Community Correction Center, Bowling Green. He was convicted on a charge of gross sexual imposition in Wood County and is classified as a tier 1 sex offender.
Miller and Sonny were searching a woods to the northeast of North Baltimore when the K-9 officer began to aggressively track a trail near the intersection of Oil Center and Bushy roads. Miller said when he spotted Damon coming down a trail, the escapee had no idea that officers were in the woods looking for him, according to the report.
Miller ordered Damon to get on the ground, but the man said he wasn’t going back to prison and Miller would have to kill him. Damon then fled through the woods toward a nearby field.
According to the report, Miller ordered Sonny to stay put. Miller then followed Damon out of the woods. Once in a clearing, Miller said he ordered Damon onto the ground again, and advised him that a canine officer was on the scene.
Miller said Damon surrendered immediately after being told about the dog.
Miller and Sonny remained on the scene, but at a distance from Damon, until Wood County deputies arrived and took the man into custody.
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