Today, an inmate escaped Department custody while assigned to a work squad supporting Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) operations. At approximately 12:17 p.m. EST, inmate David Ross (262580) attacked his supervising correctional officer with an improvised sharp object and departed the work site with the officer in their assigned Bartow Parks and Recreation vehicle. At approximately 1:53 p.m., local law enforcement stopped the vehicle in Pinellas County. Though he initially attempted to flee on foot, the inmate surrendered peacefully.
Due largely to the timely response and consummate professionalism of Department staff and our partners in law enforcement, this incident was resolved in under two hours with no use of force, no loss of life and no serious injuries. Inmate Ross is currently housed in the Pinellas County Jail.
Department staff will review this incident to determine the cause and evaluate the response. As this case is subject to an open and active criminal investigation, this is all of the information available at this time.
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs 24,000 members statewide, incarcerates approximately 99,000 inmates and supervises nearly 140,000 offenders in the community.