Nationwide Manhunt Underway For Violent, Mentally-Disturbed Fugitive

The manhunt continues for Branden Powell, the rape suspect who escaped custody on Friday while being transported to Paulding County Jail in northwest Ohio.

We first reported on the manhunt here.

Now, new details have emerged about Powell’s background as the hunt for the fugitive goes national.

Fox News reports:

Paulding County Sheriff Jason Landers said Saturday that FBI agents and U.S. Marshals have joined the search for Branden Powell, 32, after his escape around noon Friday on an 80-mile trip from a psychiatric hospital in Toledo to the Paulding County Jail in northwest Ohio.

Powell is armed, has a history of psychiatric problems and violent offenses, and he’s nowhere to be found.

While on transit to the county jail, Powell jumped over a seat to put the deputy driving the vehicle into a headlock, causing the deputy to crash into a ditch.

After a struggle, Powell managed to take the deputy’s gun and force the deputy to remove his restraints.

Fox News continues:

Powell then handcuffed the deputy to the steering wheel and disabled the van’s police radio and engine before fleeing with the deputy’s wallet, cellphone, gun and 30 rounds of ammunition, Landers said.

The deputy suffered minor injuries.

“He fought as long as he could, and as well as he could,” Landers told the AP.

Powell is armed, and authorities warn that if seen, he should not be approached. Call 911 immediately.

We now know that Powell has a disturbing history of brutal offenses, and he has a history of psychological disturbances.

After being jailed for rape, Powell was sent to the Toledo psychiatric hospital after slitting his own own throat.

Fox News continues:

Powell was jailed July 8 and subsequently indicted on rape, attempted rape and sexual battery charges for an alleged assault in the Paulding County village of Antwerp.

After being jailed, Powell slit his throat in a suicide attempt and underwent surgery at a hospital, Landers said. He was sent to Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital on July 13.

Doctors at the psychiatric facility “obviously concluded he was fit for incarceration in our facility,” Landers said.

WFTT calls Powell “extremely dangerous” and says he was last seen wearing light colored clothing, with dark hair and a stubbled beard.