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Escapee Caputred In City

<p>Topham</p>

Topham

A man who escaped from the Logan County Detention Center just before noon on Nov. 4 was captured last Thursday morning in Booneville.

Gary Patrick Topham, 49, who had been booked into the detention center on Nov. 1 on a pair of $250,000 bonds for failure to appear, fleeing and manufacture of meth or cocaine and possession of a controlled substance, was taken into custody by Booneville Police Department officers, Logan County Sheriff Steve Smith and deputies, behind a home on Sassafrass Street at about 10 a.m. Thursday.

Authorities were searching the area after a Booneville resident notified the BPD a man matching Topham’s description had been seen walking on Ivy Street, after the man ran from the area.

Two days earlier a mass search for Topham had been called off by Smith but authorities later learned he had been given a ride to the Sugar Grove area, presumably by a Paris man.

From there, BPD Chief Al Brown said last week, he was reportedly given a ride to Booneville by another man. Brown said he doesn’t believe either many assisting Topham will be charged with a crime.

“They didn’t have any bad intent,” said Brown. “They didn’t know what they were doing.”

In the case of the Sugar Grove man, Brown said Topham apparently told him he had been hunting and that his four-wheeler had broken down so he needed a ride to Booneville.

After the man who provided transportation realized who Topham might be he notified police, Brown said, but he did so about 30 minutes later.

Because Topham had been dropped off in the area of Locust and Moore streets, Brown called the Head Start and Booneville Schools to notify them of the situation.

Booneville Superintendent John K. Parrish said rather than proceed as normal, he instituted a “modified lock-down.”

Parrish said the situation called for it because he didn’t want parents to think that administrators were not taking every precaution with their children.

By modified lock-down, Parrish said he meant doors at the elementary school were locked but students at the junior and senior high schools were permitted to travel between buildings when necessary, but did so with school personnel outside the buildings.

Brown also provided a statement for the school to use on its “school reach” telephone service that notified parents of the activity in the vicinity of the school.

Parrish said parents were also permitted to pick up their children, but only a few did so. Buses ran at their normal times, the superintendent added.

By then, Brown said, the search had moved west of the city to the Barber area.

Brown notified the school, Head Start and the Chamber of Commerce, who had been circulating Topham’s picture on its public access — Channel 2 — of Topham’s capture Thursday morning.

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