Escaped Mansfield inmate James David Myers captured by shoppers at Ashland, Ohio store

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An inmate who escaped from a north-central Ohio prison where he was incarcerated for kidnapping, rape and other crimes committed in Summit County was captured Thursday night by people in a general store who tied him up and held him until authorities arrived.

James David Myers was recognized when he walked into the Olivesburg General Store in Ashland on Thursday evening, Ohio State Police Lt. Anne Ralston said.

People in the store subdued, tied up and held Myers until members of the highway patrol arrived and took him into custody at about 6:40 p.m., Ralston said. (Mobile and tablet users can view the video at the following link:

The store is located just over eight miles northeast from the prison on rural Ohio 545. Authorities didn't immediately released additional details about the capture.

Myers, who had been on the run for 20 hours, was returned to the Mansfield Correctional Institution, JoEllen Smith, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said in a statement.

Myers, formerly of Mogadore, was found to be missing from the Mansfield facility during a head count on Wednesday night, his 47th birthday, according to prison records. Authorities declined to discuss exactly how or when Myers slipped away from the prison where he worked in the maintenance area while incarcerated.

The facility about 60 miles north of Columbus houses about 2,500 inmates and operated Thursday under stepped-up security, with escorts required each time an inmate was moved, Smith said.

Authorities said a Tallmadge woman listed as Myers' victim was alerted and put under law enforcement protection while investigators searched for the missing inmate.

"We certainly don't want to see something like this happen at our institution or at any other institution, and we'll do everything we can do to prevent that from happening again," said warden Terry Tibbals.

Tibbals wouldn't comment on the types of equipment or tools Myers might have been able to access through his job in the maintenance area. He also wouldn't discuss whether Myers previously tried to escape.

The facility hadn't had an escape since December 2011, when an inmate who was outside of the prison walked away, Smith said.

Authorities refused to discuss whether they were investigating anyone else in connection with Myers' disappearance.

Myers was imprisoned in 2010 on kidnapping, rape, aggravated burglary and other charges in Summit County. Prosecutors alleged he raped a woman at gunpoint and forced her to consume cocaine, and an appeals court upheld his conviction, according to court records.

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