K9 unit takes down second escapee in Tennessee - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

K9 unit takes down second escapee in Tennessee

Source: Gregg, Rankin County Sheriff's Office Source: Gregg, Rankin County Sheriff's Office
RANKIN COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

On Thursday, April 7, around 10 p.m., Sheriff's investigators were notified by Longview Police Department detectives that escapee Michael Andrew Rottuno had been captured.

Rottuno and his co-conspirator, James Thomas Banks, escaped custody of a transport company in Holmes County, Florida on April 4.

The duo then stole a Honda Element from an adjacent city and drove west.

They were able to obtain funds and purchased cell phones and other items while traveling through Alabama.  

Once in Rankin County, Sheriff’s Deputies spotted the stolen vehicle and attempted to stop it on I-20 at Hwy 43 inside the city of Pelahatchie.

Both escapees fled on foot into two separate patches of woods.

A manhunt began that night and  continued until Wednesday, April 6.

Tuesday morning a 911 call was received from a resident on Shiloh Road reporting one of his vehicles had been stolen during the night.

Tuesday afternoon, investigators learned Rottuno had checked into a hotel in Longview, Texas and was in possession of the stolen Mississippi vehicle.  

On Wednesday morning, Banks was captured with the assistance of a local cab driver.

Wednesday evening investigators were notified the stolen Mississippi vehicle had been recovered from a pond in Longview, Texas.

Investigators there advised it appeared as if the vehicle was intentionally driven into the water in an attempt to submerge it in order to conceal if from authorities. Unfortunately for Rottuno, the pond was too shallow to submerge the vehicle.  

On Thursday another vehicle was stolen.  This time the theft occurred in Gregg County, Texas.  Ropttuno was quickly identified as the suspect in this theft.

That vehicle was located the same day in Harrison, Texas.

On the same street where that vehicle was recovered, another vehicle was stolen and Rottuno was identified as the perpetrator based on evidence at the scene and descriptions from video surveillance.  

Texas authorities put out a regional “Be on the Look Out” (BOLO) for the latest stolen vehicle.

Authorities in Paris, Tennessee spotted the vehicle and stopped the vehicle in their city.

Once stopped, Rottuno exited the vehicle and ran from police on foot.

After a brief foot pursuit Rottuno was taken down by a police K9.

Rottuno sustained numerous bites and punctures from the K9 that required medical attention.

Rottuno will now be facing felony charges in Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi and Florida.

He will be facing numerous charges in most of those jurisdictions, including Rankin County.  

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