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Atmore inmate runs but can’t hide


News Staff Report

An Atmore woman found out last week how easy it is to run, but how hard it is to hide, after a spur-of-the-moment escape plan netted her less than two hours of freedom.

According to Escambia County Sheriff’s Office reports, 26-year-old Meagan Brooke Dantzler, who was being held in ECSO’s minimum-security female barracks on numerous theft-related charges, decided on July 23 that she no longer cared for being incarcerated.

Reports show that when a correctional officer entered the “cage” area of the facility around 7 p.m. to conduct a cell check, Dantzler “ran past (the CO) and out the door.” The breakout happened as shifts were changing at the facility, leaving no shortage of officers who were able to immediately join the pursuit.

Reports show that the fleeing female led lawmen on a foot chase into O’Bannon Park in Brewton, where city police were called in to help with the search, as were tracking dogs from two different correctional facilities.

Ironically, officers and the K9 units eventually spotted Dantzler as she crawled along next to the municipal greenspace’s dog park.

She was taken into custody about 8:45 p.m. without further incident, reports show. But this time she was placed in the maximum security female lockup area, where a felony escape charge has been added to the list of crimes for which she is being held.

According to an employee of the Escambia County Detention Center’s booking and release division, Dantzler was originally being held under total bonds of $70,000 on one count each of breaking and entering an automobile, third-degree theft of property and third-degree receiving stolen property, as well as three counts each of third-degree burglary and fourth-degree theft of property.

As midweek approached, the Atmore woman was also being held on a probation violation charge, for which she cannot be bonded out, and now has a new and separate bond of $100,000 on a second-degree escape charge.