Escaped inmate back in custody after 'unusual apprehension'

Christopher Coffey

An inmate who escaped from the Jackie Brannon Correctional Center in April was apprehended Thursday in Tulsa.

Christopher G. Coffey, 30, was one of five inmates who Oklahoma Department of Corrections said broke out of a second-floor window in April at the minimum-security facility in McAlester.

Four of the inmates were captured soon after crashing a vehicle that was stolen from a residence near the prison while Coffey remained on the run before his Thursday arrest.

Tulsa Police Department Cpl. Brandon Davis said Coffey was captured following a “very unusual” apprehension.

Davis said TPD officers responded Thursday to a possible burglary in progress after the homeowner saw a man, identified as Coffey, “snooping around the backyard and around the residence” before the man fled after the homeowner told the man to leave the property through the security system.

Officers later spotted Coffey a few blocks away before he immediately ran through the woods and jumped into the Arkansas River, Davis said.

“Before the suspect could swim to the other side, additional officers arrived on the south bank of the river,” Davis said. “The suspect continued to attempt escape and began swimming downstream.”

Boats from the Tulsa Fire Department’s Water Rescue Unit were deployed into the river to assist in the apprehension of Coffey and evidence recovery, Davis said.

Backpacks that were thrown into the river by Coffey were found to have “loot” from a burglary earlier in the day in Tulsa with other items being “suspected stolen items,” according to Davis.

Davis said Coffey was identified by his tattoos.

According to Davis, Coffey was transported to a hospital with minor injuries and will be booked into the Tulsa County Jail.

Tulsa County Jail records show Coffey is being held on the complaints of third degree robbery, knowingly concealing stolen property, resisting arrest, obstructing justice, possession of drug paraphernalia, destroying evidence, and the outstanding Pittsburg County warrant for escaping from Department of Corrections.

Coffey will be held without bond until he is extradited back to ODOC custody, Davis said.

“Officers and firefighters worked very well together on an very unusual apprehension,” Davis said. “The assistance from TFD was also instrumental in recovering the backpacks containing the stolen property from the river.”

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com

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