BULLOCH CO., GA (WTOC) - Sheriff's deputies in Bulloch County arrested an escaped convict who had been on the run for over a week.
They spotted the man in a crowded mobile home park and convinced him to surrender peacefully. It brought a sigh of relief from deputies as well as neighbors.
Chad Dempsey slipped away from his work release job in Evans County last week and didn't return to Smith State Prison. U.S. Marshals passed a lead to Bulloch County deputies that Dempsey was in Plantation Mobile Home Park. Lt. Walter Deal rode out to speak to the neighbors.
"She pointed toward a mobile home at a guy who'd just shown up a week ago and fit the general description," said Lt. Deal, Bulloch County Sheriff's Office.
Neighbors tell us Dempsey had been there about that long - with a different story.
"He had just gotten out after serving five years in prison," said neighbor, Wendy Crosby.
WTOC: "He just didn't mention he had escaped? He said he'd served his time?"
Crosby: "Yessir, like he'd served it all."
Deal and others surround the mobile home and in less than an hour, convinced him to surrender. Last fall in Long County, a fugitive murder suspect shot and killed a Marshal in an attempted arrest.
WTOC: "How often is what happened in November on your mind?"
Deal: "It's always on your mind with this day and time and what's happening in law enforcement the last couple of years."
Neighbors say bullets from either direction could have gone into another mobile home and hurt innocent victims.
"Nobody got hurt. Nobody got hurt. I'm thankful for that," said neighbor, Dianne Arnold.
"We know he's not going anywhere. Time is on our side," said Lt. Deal.
Lt. Deal says they have force they can use if necessary, but he always hopes these end with everyone safe and alive.