Fugitive caught after two-day manhunt

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Austin County sheriff’s deputies arrested a local man Tuesday afternoon after a two-day manhunt in Austin and Colorado counties.

According to the Austin County Sheriff’s Office, Jeremey Clayton, 35, was contacted by Austin County deputies in the early morning hours of Oct. 12. A patrol sergeant observed Clayton operating a vehicle and attempted to stop him based on prior knowledge that Clayton was wanted for a felony parole violation by the state of Texas.

Clayton reportedly fled in the vehicle, briefly slowed near Crossroads Tavern to drop his female passenger, then continued alone into Colorado County. Near the 1300 block of Schmoeller Sens Road, Clayton reportedly abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot into the dense woods.

Colorado County deputies assisted Austin County deputies; however, Clayton was not located at that time.

Over the next 24 hours, Austin County sheriff’s deputies investigated numerous citizen sightings of Clayton in the Cat Spring – New Ulm areas of Austin County.

On Oct. 13, an Austin County sheriff’s deputy spotted Clayton walking in a field near the 19000 block of FM 1094. Within minutes, Austin County deputies along with Sealy police officers, and Department of Public Safety troopers established a perimeter to contain Clayton in a large wooded area.

The Austin County Special Response Team was activated and quickly arrived on scene with members from Austin County Sheriff’s Office, Bellville police, and a police K-9 unit from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. Additionally, Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes immediately launched an aircraft to provide air surveillance of the ground operation and to prevent another escape by Clayton.

Eventually, the police K-9 “Kolt” tracked Clayton to a swampy area of the woods where he was located by deputies and taken into custody without incident. Due to the fact that Clayton had been in the woods for almost 36 hours, Austin County EMS was brought to the scene to provide medical assistance to Clayton.

Clayton was booked into the Austin County Jail on the original parole violation felony as well as several new felony charges related to the evading in a vehicle.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story originally contained an incorrect photo that was provided by the Austin County Sheriff's Office.  The Sealy News apologizes to the individual whose photo ran  with the story and regrets any problems it may have caused.)

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