COLUMBUS, Ohio – A teenage murder suspect who escaped from police custody at a western Ohio hospital kidnapped a 70-year-old woman and forced her to give him a ride before he was caught, authorities said Saturday.
In a dramatic escape Friday night, 17-year-old Raymond Matthew Zimmerman was seen running away from the Springfield Regional Medical Center wearing an orange jail jumpsuit and no shoes, police said. Authorities immediately notified area homes to be on the lookout.
At 8:30 a.m. Saturday, police received a call from a landlord in Springfield. The man said he had been on the phone with his 70-year-old girlfriend making breakfast arrangements when he mentioned Zimmerman being on the loose and for her to be careful.
"He is here," she said, and the phone line went dead, according to a police report.
The man tried to call back several times and got hang-ups, so he headed to her house. He found her car missing and signs of a struggle inside, and the woman was gone.
While police were processing the scene, she returned home apparently having been assaulted. She said Zimmerman had taken her hostage and forced her to drive him in her car to an unknown address at the Fairborn Apartments, authorities said. She was transported to the same hospital from which he escaped, but her injuries were not considered life-threatening.
Police descended on Zimmerman at Fairborn Apartments, where he was apprehended about 10:15 a.m. Saturday.
The Clark County sheriff's office and detention center pledged to work together to ensure "such escapes never occur in the future."
Zimmerman had been in transit from Clark County Juvenile Detention Center for treatment of an ankle injury. Authorities now suspect the injury was faked.
He and 18-year-old Robert V. Winbush, of Fairborn, were arrested last week in connection with the shooting death of William Henson, Zimmerman's uncle. Deputies found Henson's body in his home, which they said was robbed of 38 rifles, various other firearms and a large amount of ammunition.
Besides the earlier murder charge, Zimmerman now faces felony charges of escape, aggravated burglary, kidnapping and auto theft.