Feds Join Search For Escaped NW Ohio Inmate

(Paulding, OH) The hunt for an escaped Paulding County Jail inmate is intensifying.

32-year-old Branden Lee Powellescaped around noon Friday on an 80-mile journey from a psychiatric hospital in Toledo to the Paulding County Jail. 

While en route, authorities say the rape suspect overpowered a sheriff's deputy in a transport van, stole his gun and fled. The Paulding County sheriff says the Antwerp man was in leg shackles and in handcuffs secured to a belly belt when he managed to jump over the seat, put the part-time deputy in a headlock, causing the van to crash into a ditch. 

Powell got the deputies gun and ordered him at gunpoint to remove the restraints. The rape suspect then handcuffed the deputy to the steering, wheel, disabled the van's police radio, and took off with the deputy's wallet, cell phone, gun and ammunition. 

The FBI and federal marshals have joined the search and a $2,000 reward is being offered for information.

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