Man who fled county jail in Oct. caught
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Dec. 15, 2004 -- The multiple-county search for a man who two months ago walked out of Hopkins County jail just before officials could complete necessary paperwork for book-in procedures was apprehended in Hunt County Monday.

Law enforcement officers took him into custody outside a Greenville boarding house where Robert Clinton Davidson, who is also known to use the name Jack Daniel Hardesty, was staying Monday. Red River Valley Drug Task Force investigators, aided by numerous other agencies who have been involved in the two-month-long search for the jail escapee, surrounded the boarding house.

RRVDTF investigators made entry into the boarding house, which Davidson had rented under yet another alias. When officers attempted to place him in custody, the man jumped head-first through the bathroom window, landing almost directly in front of officers stationed outside it, according to a Hopkins County Sheriff's sergeant investigator assigned to the task force.

Davidson remained in Hunt County jail just before noon Tuesday awaiting transport to Hopkins County on the felony escape charge as well as the two delivery of a controlled substance warrants for which he was originally arrested on Oct. 11, the day of his escape.

Task force investigators credited the arrest to the numerous agencies that participated in the intensive search, including Greenville Police Department, Hopkins and Delta County sheriff's offices, and other task force members, and the numerous resources provided to them through the Texas Department of Public Safety, which governs the drug task force.

"We are thankful for and appreciate all of the agencies that assisted in this," the RRVDTF sergeant said. "Their help and utilizing other resources available to us we are able to locate and apprehend this escapee yesterday."

The escapee was initially arrested on Oct. 11 on the felony warrants obtained following an undercover investigation by RRVDTF officers. The 43-year-old man was taken to the county jail to be booked in. While officers were completing the paper work, he took advantage of a failure to close the security doors leading into the jail after bringing in another arrested person and simply walked out.

Within minutes of Davidson's quiet escape, officers realized he was missing and launched a manhunt involving patrol deputies and investigators from both Hopkins and Delta counties, as well as Texas Department of Public Safety. The manhunt by local agencies continued into the next day, but was eventually called off without success.

As time went by, officers continued following up on leads as they occurred and when not on other priority calls. Hopkins County Sheriff's Criminal Investigation Division, including the investigator assigned to the task force, picked up the case from there.

In several instances the investigators were within hours or minutes of locating the man, who was said to be frequently on the move to avoid detection by law enforcement.

Eventually those extra resources and hours of work resulted in Davidson's location at the boarding house Monday. Investigators acted immediately and had apprehended him within 2 hours of receiving the leads.

RRVDTF is continuing its investigation into "all suspects who aided and abetted this fugitive."

Also resulting from the escape was new policy at the Hopkins County jail. Arresting officers are now required to bring those to be booked through the sally port, which opens into the book-in area, as a measure to better secure the area and eliminate the potential for an inmate to walk out through the front entrance.

Older Archives

Looking for News-Telegram Sports and News Archives for January 2004 - November 2008