February 3, 2009
A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
officer captured an escaped prisoner Tuesday in Punta Gorda,
Charlotte County, almost two days after he fled the DeSoto County
Jail in Arcadia. Officer Randy Vaughn spotted the convicted sexual
predator, considered dangerous by law enforcement authorities, on
Burnt Store Road and arrested the man.
Jorge Delgado, 42, escaped the DeSoto County Jail on Sunday night,
during a kitchen fire. On Tuesday morning, authorities say, he
invaded a home near the jail in Arcadia, held the occupant at
knifepoint, tied her up, and stole a truck from the residence. The
woman was not seriously injured.
Authorities found the stolen truck that afternoon at the Burnt
Store Square in Punta Gorda, at U.S. 41 and Burnt Store Road. The
Charlotte County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Highway Patrol
participated in the manhunt.
The FWC's Vaughn lives in the area and was about to go on duty at
2 p.m. A friend with the FHP warned him to be on the lookout for
Delgado, who apparently had just abandoned the vehicle. Vaughn
spotted the escapee approximately four miles south of the shopping
center, where the stolen vehicle was found.
"I had been on duty only for about 10 minutes when I saw him
walking alongside the road," Vaughn said. "I turned around and
came in behind him. He turned around and looked at me and knew he
had been caught."
Vaughn reported that Delgado provided a false name but did not
attempt to flee or resist arrest.
Delgado was wearing a green T-shirt and white pants when
apprehended and carried a pocketknife, CD case and some money.
He was serving time for sexual battery, false imprisonment and
lewd and lascivious battery on a child under 16. He is also
charged with battery on detention staff. Delgado will face
additional charges in connection with his escape, and he may face
charges in connection with the reported home invasion and vehicle
"Any day you can get someone like that off the street is a good
day," Vaughn said about the apprehension.