Florida inmate walks away from work crew, buys sweet tea and clothes

- An inmate who walked away from his work crew was arrested after purchasing clothes and sweet tea at a local restaurant. 

The Putnam County Sheriff's Office says that a Florida Department of Corrections inmate walked away from a work crew on Monday morning in Interlachen, purchased clothes at a nearby Family Dollar, and stopped at a local restaurant for a sweet tea.

They say that 23-year-old Taylor Fender was serving a 5-year prison term at Putnam Corrections Institute in East Palatka. The inmate work crew was in the area of State Road 520 and County Road 315 when Fender walked away and into the Family Dollar. Surveillance video captured him purchasing clothes. An observant resident is said to have saw Fender walk into the store and called 911. 

After leaving the store, the Sheriff's Office says that Fender walked south on County Road 315 before stopping at Poppi's Restaurant. at the same time the suspect walked into the restaurant, a deputy was pulling in for lunch. As the deputy walked in, a BOLO with the suspect's description was released. The suspect had already ordered and paid for a sweet tea.

The suspect was reportedly arrested without incident and taken to the Putnam Correctional Institute. An escape charge was forwarded to the Seventh Judicial Circuit State Attorney's Office.


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