A jail inmate escaped Wednesday from the Benton County Justice Center and was captured nearly two hours later at a Kennewick apartment.
Gerald A. Hyde II, 24, was taken to court to appear before a judge on a charge of methamphetamine possession.
As Hyde was being transferred back to the jail, authorities say he escaped from a hallway and through an empty courtroom.
Hyde, who was handcuffed but wasn’t wearing ankle shackles, was spotted leaving the justice center through the front doors, said Detective Sgt. Kevin McCary. He was barefoot and had on pants from the jail.
Investigators with the sheriff’s office received tips that Hyde might be at a friend’s apartment on Canal Drive and Arthur Street.
When authorities showed up, Hyde took off and quickly was arrested, McCary said. He was returned to the jail.
Vista Elementary School was placed on lockdown to ensure students’ safety during the search, police said.
The case was sent to prosecutors to review for possible charges.