Jail escapee disappears again after stealing Oklahoma cop car
Update, March 19
Travis Davis is back in custody nine days after he escaped from the the Pettis County Jail in Missouri, according to a news release from the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office.
Davis, 30, escaped from the jail on March 10 and was arrested near Sedalia, Missouri, on March 19, the release states. He is back in the same jail he escaped from.
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A Missouri jail escapee was handcuffed with his hands behind his back while sitting in the back of a police car when he managed to disappear again, Oklahoma police said, according to 4029News TV.
Travis Davis, 30, is still on the run since that Wednesday morning escape, and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections says law officials are calling this man a “criminal ‘Houdini.’”
Davis was sitting behind the cage of the cop car — with the window between the front and back of the car closed — while Heavener, Oklahoma, police officers talked to a woman who reported that Davis kidnapped her after he escaped from jail a few days before, the station reported.
The woman said she managed to run away from Davis while he was asleep outside of a travel plaza in southeast Oklahoma, the state’s Department of Corrections said in a video posted to YouTube. She went up to correctional officers who had just gotten off work and pleaded for help, the officers said in the video.
Did you hear about Missouri escapee Travis Davis? Kidnapped a woman after escaping from jail and took her to Oklahoma where police caught up with him - after she approached one of our COs who happened to be at a Heavener truck stop. Here's what happened: https://t.co/GzwwDUDbw4 pic.twitter.com/iPprJ7VtLA— Oklahoma DOC (@OklaDOC) March 15, 2019
That woman has since been identified as 23-year-old Christole Hurst, NBC reported. Police are now searching for her, too, as authorities “discovered that she was an alleged accomplice in Davis’ escape from the Missouri jail.”
Davis escaped Pettis County Jail on Sunday, March 10 — three days before the second escape in Oklahoma.
After talking to Hurst on Wednesday morning, the correctional officers patrolled outside of Davis’ car as they waited for Heavener police to show up, according to the video. While waiting, Davis “bolted across the parking lot.”
The officers tackled him into the woodsy ground, bodycam video shows, and they “caught the bad guy.” Davis was cuffed and placed into the patrol car.
“Meanwhile while the officers interviewed the alleged victim, Davis had maneuvered his cuffs to the front of his body, forced open the window in the security partition and entered the driver’s seat of the car,” Heavener Police Chief Ty Armstrong said, according to the Heavener Ledger.
Police are not sure how he managed to do so, 4029News reported. The window “was completely closed, and should only be possible to open the window from the officers’ side,” according to the station.
From the front seat of the stolen police car, Davis drove off before he crashed about two miles away, the Sedalia Democrat reported.
Police also aren’t sure how the criminal “Houdini” was able to drive those two miles without the patrol car’s key fob, 4029News reported. The car was running when he escaped, the station reported, but the officers outside of the car had the key fob with them.
Police “hauled out” and took after Davis in the stolen car— but he had disappeared after crashing the car, the DOC said in the video.
Officials think Davis may have jumped on a freight train that was headed out of town, according to the DOC video. Armstrong said it may have been a Kansas City Southern freight train, according to the Ledger.
Davis was in jail for “various charges including kidnapping, endangering the welfare of a minor, domestic assault, resisting arrest, and parole violation,” the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
He was arrested in February after allegedly threatening to kill his pregnant girlfriend and her 8-month-old baby, KCRG reported.
Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond said Davis escaped his jail pod, broke through a cinder block wall and walked out of an exterior jail door, KCRG reported.
Phone records show that Davis and Hurst talked via phone before his jail escape, 4029News reported.
“And (Hurst) had been driving him through southern Missouri since his escape and hiding him out,” LeFlore County Sheriff Rob Seale said, according to the TV station.
David is considered dangerous and should not be approached, the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office said in the release.
“We’re hunting the fella,” Capt. Dave Keller with Pettis County said, according to KCRG. “Hunting him vigorously. We’ll get him. It’s just a matter of time.”
During the search for the escapee on Wednesday, Sallisaw, Oklahoma, police were called to check on a man who “appeared to match the description” of Davis, the Sedalia Democrat reported. That man, 27-year-old Shawn Taylor Watie, was killed by the responding officers, the newspaper reported.
Watie was walking along a highway when he charged the officers with a knife, the Democrat reported, and a officer shot and killed him.