SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A Savannah man who escaped from a transitional center and tried to elude capture in a canoe without a paddle was arrested by Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police, state and federal officers Thursday afternoon.
Frederick Neil Rushing, 36, was taken into custody by Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Marine Patrol Officers and officers from Metro's helicopter Eagle One, aided by Islands Precinct Crime Suppression and Patrol officers, Georgia Department of Natural Resources officers and members of the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force.
Rushing attempted to escape from officers investigating a theft from the visitor's center of Wormsloe Plantation by paddling away in a plastic canoe using only his hands at about 4:15 p.m. Police found his broken paddle in a camp he had set up on the state-owned plantation property.
Isle of Hope residents had alerted Islands Precinct officers of a man living in the woods before Thursday's reports. Police had already identified Rushing as the runaway from the Georgia Coastal Transitional Center before the helicopter pilot led Marine Patrol officers to the canoe at another camp at about 6 p.m. Police found Rushing hiding under the canoe on Long Island, between Wormsloe and Skidaway Island.
A warrant charging Rushing with escape was issued on April 8. Islands Precinct detectives are investigation thefts and burglaries in the area to determine if a connection exists.