Search underway for escaped Florida prisoner who may have weapon

Deputies with the Lake County Sheriff's Office are searching for a prisoner who escaped from a state facility. 

Alinton John, 34, escaped from the Lake Correctional Institution, at 19225 U.S. Highway 27 in Clermont, Florida.  The facility has a maximum capacity of 1,076 with 324 staff.

"We've lived near the prison for a long time and we've never had anything like this happen before," said resident Alex McCaffrey. "It's just a little weird." 

Corrections officers said John is considered a minimum custody inmate and was working outside when he just walked away on foot, without permission.  Once John escaped the prison, he crossed four lanes of traffic onto Highway 27, then came to a  farm, where deputies say he stole a truck. 

"He is believed to have stolen a 2001 silver Toyota pickup with FL tag  JHWC97.  There is a possibility that there was a firearm in the vehicle when it was stolen however the owner was not sure," said Sgt. Jim Vachon with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. 

Investigators believe John has left Lake County.  He is described as a black man with brown eyes, black hair, standing 6 feet and 2 inches tall, and weighing approximately 170 pounds.  He has a tattoo on his left chest of a footprint and the name "Aliyana." 

John was incarcerated in 2009 on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.  He was serving a 15-year sentence.

Anyone with information as to John's whereabouts is asked to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477).