Manhunt scares up convict

By Andy Sevilla

A man who police say stripped naked and used his clothing to scale a barbwire fence at the Kyle Correctional Center was apprehended within hours of his escape and may face new charges. 

Kendrick Rishard Davis, 34, who was serving a 25-year sentence on two counts of aggravated robbery in Dallas County, was found a few hundred yards east of the minimum-security facility after Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDC) bloodhounds tracked his scent.

Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said his department was notified at about 2:15 p.m. Saturday that guards at the Kyle prison observed Davis disrobe in the recreation area and use his clothing to throw over a facility barbwire fence and climb over the only barrier keeping inmates on prison fields from the public. 

Barnett said police, with the help of the Hays and Travis County Sheriff’s Office deputies, quickly set up a perimeter around the area Davis was last seen fleeing toward. He said a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter was sent to the area to help spot the escapee. 

Nearby residents were immediately notified of the prison escape, Barnett said. However, on the Hays Free Press Facebook site some residents complained that they were not notified of an escaped inmate, while others commented that they did receive the information from the city. It is not clear which residents lived near the facility and the area police were searching for Davis. 

Kyle residents can sign up on the city’s website to receive emergency alerts.

Tracking dogs from both Hays and Travis County Sheriff’s Offices were used to help located Davis, and the Comal County Sheriff’s Office later sent their own tracking dogs to relieve the other K-9 units on the search.

TDC search dogs tracked Davis’ scent and led authorities to the escapee at about 8 p.m., Barnett said. Davis, who was wearing only sox and one shoe, had small scrapes and bruises and was treated by EMS on scene and released to TDC. 

Barnett credited quick assembly by several law enforcement agencies in setting up a perimeter as a reason preventing Davis from fleeing the area. He also said TDC air support forced Davis to lie down and seek cover, which also helped keep Davis from further fleeing. 

Barnett said Davis had only been at the Kyle Correctional Center for a few days. Davis was previously incarcerated at a different location for about 18 years, he said. Per TDC system protocol, Barnett said Davis would never return to the Kyle prison during his incarceration. 

This is the first inmate escape incident at the Kyle prison in Barnett’s three years as the city’s police chief, he said, although in 2008 an inmate escaped the facility and was caught shortly after. 

The Kyle Correctional Center is one of twelve correctional facilities in Texas privately operated by Utah-based Management and Training Corporation. The facility has a capacity of 524 inmates that houses parole-ready and parole-modification offenders, according to its website. 

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