NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - An inmate who escaped from the Newport News City Prison Farm Friday spent more than eight hours on the run before he was captured attempting to rob a woman of her vehicle.
WAVY News 10's cameras were rolling when Eric Fling, 24, was put in handcuffs and led away at the Meridian Parkside Apartments in Newport News at 2:30 p.m.
Kim Lee with the City of Newport News said Fling was discovered missing from the facility around 6 a.m. Friday. The jail was immediately placed on lockdown and searched.
There were sightings of Fling across Hampton Roads throughout the day.
Just before 12:30 p.m., Sgt. Jason Price with the Hampton Police Division told WAVY.com officers in Newport News and Hampton as well as troopers with the Virginia State Police searched for Fling at Sandy Bottom Nature Park in Hampton.
Officers spotted a suspicious vehicle on Hampton Roads Center Parkway near the park and the driver took off running into the woods, Price said. Officers believe that driver was Fling.
As a result, Bethel High and George Phoenix schools were placed on lockdown. Price said there was no indication that the students were in danger.
A jogger in Sandy Bottom Nature Park, Glenn Hrida, says he saw the escaped prisoner run past him.
"The police were looking for a fugitive. He was about 30 yards in front of me and he was very tired. I thought I could catch up with him but he took off into the woods," Hrida told WAVY.com.
The lockdown was lifted around 1:30 p.m.
About an hour later, workers at Meridian Parkside Apartments spotted Fling and chased after him, towards Hampton Roads Center Parkway. Police say Fling had attempted to rob a woman of her vehicle but a Newport News Police Lieutenant was on scene and apprehended Fling immediately after.
Fling was serving a 10-month sentence that began in June for a probation violation. The probation violation stemmed from a burglary conviction, Lee told WAVY.com.
Holly McPherson with the Newport News Police Department says Fling was charged with attempted car jacking and was served an outstanding warrant for his escape from custody. Fling is in custody at the Newport News City Jail.
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