WORTH CO., GA (WALB) - Worth County escaped inmate, Charles Justin Duke 32, began his escape from the Worth County Jail began Friday night.
That's according to Interim Worth County Sheriff Bobby Sapp, who said Duke assaulted a jailer and stole her jail keys, allowing himself freedom for around 15 hours.
"I personally feel pretty safe," said Timothy Haire.
Haire is working to open a new business in Downtown Sylvester.
He said he carries a concealed weapon and wasn't too nervous about Duke's escape from jail just blocks from his store.
"I think the men and women of the police force here are doing a great job," said Haire.
But Friday night, Worth County Interim Sheriff Bobby Sapp said Duke overpowered a jailer here at the Worth County Jail downtown.
Sapp said Duke punched her in the face, leaving her with a handful of stitches.
"I'm not sure how he was able to overpower her in such a way, but that is cause for concern," said Haire.
From there, Sapp said the inmate took her jail keys, went into the main office and stole her pocketbook.
He's accused of taking her car keys, and using her car as a getaway vehicle.
Officials believe Duke then drove to his mom's house on South County Line Road and stole her burgundy 4-door Lincoln and three firearms.
Sapp said Duke was in jail for 36 days on multiple charges, including probation violation for a possession of a firearm by convicted felon and cruelty to children
"Anybody who has that kind of record, he definitely needs to be caught before he hurts somebody or himself," explained Haire.
Prior to his escape, Sapp said Duke made statements to fellow inmates about wanting to go to Colorado or Las Vegas, and the Worth County Sheriff's Office informed law enforcement moving westward of Duke's escape.
Now Haire said he's grateful to law enforcement for capturing Duke.
"Justice will prevail, either someone is going to see something and say something or somebody's going to catch him, and hopefully they can do it before he can get too wild," said Haire.
Albany Police have Duke in custody.
We have not heard what new charges he will face or when his first appearance in court will be.
Stick with WALB News 10 on air and online as we continue to follow this story.