Centerville inmate escapes during visit to ER

Rodney Long, 37, of Centerville, Iowa espcaped from police custody while visiting the emergency room.

A local escapee is now back behind bars after making a getaway from a southeast Iowa hospital.

Centerville Police Sgt. Mike Moore told KTVO Wednesday night that the escapee is Rodney Eugene Long, 37, of Centerville.

Moore said Centerville officers had arrested Long and his girlfriend, Andrea Hendee, 32, of Centerville, shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday in connection with a report of a laptop computer missing from a car at a local motel.

Long was then taken to the Appanoose County Jail where he was charged with 4th-degree theft, two counts of 3rd-degree burglary and interference with official acts.

Moore said that a short time later, jail staffers called for an ambulance to take Long to the emergency room at Mercy Medical Center.

The sergeant wasnâ??t sure of Longâ??s medical need.

Long arrived at the hospital around 1:30 p.m. where he was receiving treatment for his complaint.

Moore said as Long was being taken for testing by a couple of nurses, he went into a restroom, and when he came out he fled from the hospital on foot.

That happened around 2:15 p.m.

The two officers who had accompanied Long to the hospital chased after him once they learned he had escaped.

He got away from them when he entered a large, wooded area near Bella Vista Drive about a half-mile south of the hospital.

Various local, county, state and even federal law enforcement agencies were called in to help search on foot for Long.

A Wayne County deputy also brought in his K-9 to help.

The escapee was captured just before 5 p.m. after ambulance crew members saw Long walking not far from the wooded area.

Long now faces five more charges: escape from custody; two counts of assault on a peace officer; two additional counts of interference with an official act.

The suspect is being held in the Appanoose County Jail on $15,500 bond.

Moore said he wanted to thank all of the agencies that helped in the search for Long.

Hendee is charged with two counts of burlgary in 3rd degree, joint criminal conduct, and theft in the 4th degree. Hendee is being held in the Appanoose County Jail at $12,000 bond.