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Texas inmate pulls gun on guards, escapes

A convicted sex offender pulls a gun on two guards during a prison transfer and briefly holds them hostage before fleeing on foot in one of the guard's uniforms.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A convicted sex offender sentenced to life in prison pulled a gun on two guards during a prison transfer Monday and held them hostage temporarily before fleeing on foot in one of the guard's uniforms, authorities said.

The guards were transferring Arcade Joseph Comeaux Jr. from a prison in Huntsville, north of Houston, to one in Beaumont, in southeast Texas, when he pulled out a gun and told the guards to stop the vehicle, said Michelle Lyons, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

"At some point he brandished a firearm. We do not know how he was able to obtain that firearm and ordered officers to pull off to the side of the road," Lyons said.

Comeaux, 49, took the officers' weapons and handcuffed them together in the back of the vehicle before fleeing on foot near Baytown, a refinery town east of Houston, Lyons said.

The officers were later found unharmed.

Unconfirmed sightings
Comeaux was wearing one of the officer's gray uniforms and black boots and had the guards' weapons, Lyons said.

There were several unconfirmed sightings of Comeaux in the Baytown area, said Lisa Block, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

State troopers, the Texas Rangers and a Department of Public Safety helicopter were helping search for Comeaux, Block said.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Comeaux was serving a life sentence after being convicted of indecency with a child, aggravated sexual assault and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Comeaux has prior arrests for assault, drug possession and theft, according to court records. Authorities said he should be considered dangerous.

The escape triggered a lockdown at Lee College and three campuses in the Goose Creek school district, in and around Baytown.